Katrina, Mary, Harvey and Sandy are infamous names that belong to some of the worst hurricanes in history. But where do these names come from?


With only one left, the National Hurricane Center may soon use the last of the names on the official list of Atlantic storm names for 2020.

Only Wilfred is on the list of 21 storm names pre-approved for the season by the World Meteorological Organization.

That name could be assigned next week. In addition to the four named systems that are now being monitored (Paulette, Teddy, Vicky and Sally), which are expected to cause massive flooding in parts of the southeast, the center is looking at three potential systems. These systems include one in the eastern Atlantic with a 70% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next five days.

Once the hurricane center assigns that last name to the list, it will move to the Greek alphabet. This only happened once before. The 2005 hyperactive season ended with the use of six Greek names: Tropical Storm Alpha, Hurricane Beta, Tropical Storm Gamma, Tropical Storm Delta, Hurricane Epsilon, and Tropical Storm Zeta.

If Wilfred is formed, it is likely to be the first “W” storm recorded. Like many of this season’s storms, Vicky set a record, becoming the first storm named in the Atlantic, breaking the record set by Tammy on October 5, 2005, said Phil Klotzbach, meteorologist. of Colorado State University leading a seasonal hurricane prediction team. .

The naming convention for Atlantic storms began in 1953. An international committee of the meteorological organization approves six lists of names, which are rotated each year. The list used this year will be used again in 2026, except for any name that the group decides to withdraw. For example, Laura’s name is likely to be withdrawn, due to the impacts of Hurricane Laura in the U.S. and the Caribbean, including more than 50 deaths.

For those who didn’t have to memorize the alphabet while being a member of a Greek society in college, here’s the list of 24 names that appear in the center’s rotation after Wilfred:

  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Gamma
  • Delta
  • Epsilon
  • Silk
  • I
  • Theta
  • Iota
  • Kappa
  • Lambda
  • Mu
  • No
  • Some
  • Omicron
  • Pine tree
  • Rho
  • Sigma
  • Yours
  • Upsilon
  • Phi
  • Chi
  • Psi
  • Omega

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