We're about to run out of names for 2020 hurricanes: So then what happens?

BySpencer Christian KGO logo
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Scientists are about to run out of names for 2020 Hurricanes: So then what happens?
NO MORE NAMES: There's only one more storm name available for this year's hurricane season, but there is a backup plan. Something that's only happened once and not since 2005.

SAN FRANCISCO -- With the naming of Tropical Storm Vicky Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is left with only one name remaining on the 2020 Atlantic hurricane list: Wilfred.

Since this has been one of the most active hurricane seasons on record, what happens after Wilfred is used, if more storms develop?

Well, the NHC would then begin using the Greek alphabet to name additional storms.

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This has happened only once before.

It was in 2005, when the NHC had to use six letters from the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta.

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By the way, the NHC does not use the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z, because there are too few names beginning with those letters.

2020 has been one of the most active hurricane seasons ever.

In addition to tropical storm Vicky, a rapidly intensifying Hurricane Sally is closing on the northern Gulf Coast, threatening Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama with high wind and possible flooding from storm surge and heavy rain. Sally, is one of five storms churning simultaneously in the Atlantic.