Do We Need a New System for Naming Hurricanes?

The current system for naming hurricanes has a list of names that correspond with the alphabet. All the letters are used except for Q, U, X, Y, and Z. That totals up to 21 names. There are 6 lists and they rotate. And if any storm is particularly strong or damaging, then the name gets retired. That all works really well as long as we never get more than 21 storms. But as we’ve seen this year, once you run out of names, we move into the Greek alphabet. And that’s OK if there aren’t any very strong or damaging storms. But there have been a few doozies this year – Eta and Iota in particular. The problem is that the current system doesn’t allow for Greek alphabet storms to be retired. How do we solve this?

Enter Nate Johnson, a well-respected meteorologist with decades of experience. Here’s and excerpt from a Forbes article:

Johnson believes that the six recycled lists for the Atlantic basin could be kept, but he tweeted, “don’t reset at the beginning of each year. Just pick back up where you left off last year, And if you have more storms, just move to the next list.” What if the storm is significant enough to be retired? He simply said, “Retire and replace the name. No Greek letters, no confusion about retirements, etc.”

Here’s the link to the entire article:

It just might work!


Categories: Weather Blog