Alternate name list for 2021 Atlantic basin hurricane season

Tracking the Tropics

TYLER, Texas (KETK/WFLA) Earlier this year, the World Meteorological Organization announced that the Greek alphabet will no longer be used to name tropical cyclones.

According to a news release from the WMO, members of the Hurricane Committee agreed it’s likely the list of names will be exhausted again in the future but said the 2020 hurricane season revealed a “number of shortcomings” when using the Greek alphabet.

“There can be too much focus on the use of Greek alphabet names and not the actual impacts from the storm. This can greatly detract from the needed impact and safety messaging,” the WMO explained, adding, “There is confusion with some Greek alphabet names when they are translated into other languages used within the Region.”

The committee also pointed out the pronunciation of several Greek letters are similar and caused messaging challenges in 2020 because, “this resulted in storms with very similar sounding names occurring simultaneously.”

Moving forward, the committee agreed to use a supplemental list of Atlantic tropical cyclone names instead of using the Greek alphabet if the regular annual list is exhausted.

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