Who selects storm names, and what happens if they are all used?

MIAMI – As Hurricane Sally gained strength and churned towards the Gulf Coast this week, the tropical storm Teddy and Vicky were named as the season’s 19th and 20th hurricanes across the Atlantic, the end of each alphabet. Was moving closer.

The Atlantic hurricane season has caused storms so fast this year that there is now only one entry – Wilfred – left on the 21-name list that meteorologists use for each season.

Forecasters say they are likely to end the current list, noting that this is the height of the season, which began June 1 and ends on November 30. This week, there were Five named storm Once in the Atlantic, an event that has not occurred since 1971 according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Tropical Depression René dissolved on Monday.)

“Given that we are experiencing 20 storms right now – we are barely past the half-point of the season,” said Denis Feltgen, spokesman and meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. “We still have two and a half months of the season.”

Once the forecasters reach a hurricane of Wilfred, they must turn to names based on the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet starting with alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.

“We’ve only done it once,” Mr. Feltgen said, “and that was 2005.” That year, meteorologists used six Greek names during the hurricane season, with 28 storms, he said.

Mr. Feltgen described the 2020 hurricane season as “hyperactive” compared to the average hurricane season, which usually names 12 hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

In May, NOAA predicted the above normal weather in the Atlantic, with 19 named storms, with 10 becoming storms. And as many as six of them could develop into Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricanes, it is forecast.

According to NOAA, the weather was closed at a record pace until July 30, with nine of the most recorded storms since the 1966 satellite era. Before the season’s official start, a first-name hurricane, Arthur made off the coast of Florida in May, was followed by Bertha, who made landfall near Charleston, S.C., later that month.

Last month, government scientists updated their outlook.

“This is one of the most active seasons on record,” said Luis Uccellini, director of the National Weather Service.

Major hurricane season forecaster Gerry Bell with NOAA’s Climate Forecast Center said last month that there could be 25 named storms before the end of the season. And there can be seven to 11 hurricanes, including three to six major winds of 74 mph or more.

In recent decades, scientists have seen an increase in hurricane activity in the North Atlantic, a measure that combines intensity with characteristics such as intensity and frequency of hurricanes. Climate scientists say that there are links between global warming and at least the intensity of hurricanes. As the sea temperature rises, the storm becomes more strong as hot water acts as a fuel that provides them with power.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, cyclones and hurricanes are named for every hurricane to be easily understood and remembered, the international group that now maintains and assigns lists of names.

“Many believe that adding names for hurricanes makes it easier for the media to report on tropical cyclones, increasing interest in warnings and increasing community preparedness,” the WMO said.

The organization said the storms are “neither named after a particular person, nor with any preference alphabetically.” The group said the selected names “are familiar to people from each region.”

The list is recycled in alphabetical order with male and female names every six years. For example, the 2019 list will be used again in 2025.

The practice of naming Atlantic tropical storms continued until at least 1953, when the National Hurricane Center began compiling a list of names in the United States. The original lists contained only women’s names until 1979, when men’s names were added.

Although the English alphabet has 26 letters, WMO does not use names that begin with the letters Q, U, X, Y or Z because “there are not enough of them,” said John Moral, WTVJ’s main season Scientist -TV, NBC stations in Miami and N. Lauderdale.

“You need to have enough names,” Mr. Feltgen said, noting that backup names need to have at least six names per letter as well, and that to include male and female options Names are required.

Hurricane names usually retire when the storm becomes history to cause destruction and death; The re-use of the name would be insensitive to those who were affected by the storm. According to the National Hurricane Center, more than 80 names have been removed from the Atlantic list.

According to NOAA, Hurricane Andrew, for example, a Category 5 hurricane that blew South Miami-Dade in 1992, was blamed for 61 deaths and damages of about $ 27 billion at the time.

And Katrina, a 2005 hurricane that blew New Orleans, killed more than 1,500 people. That high hurricane season also produced Dennis, Rita, Stan and Wilma – names that meteorologists have dropped. According to the WMO, more Hurricane names were retired than any other from the 2005 season

In 2018, the International Storm Committee announced that it was retiring four storm names Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate From the roster of Atlantic tropical cyclone names in the 2017 season due to their devastating tolls. He was replaced with Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel, who would appear on the 2023 list.

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