Each year, the Atlantic basin tropical cyclone name list is created by the World Meteorological Organization and reused on a six-year cycle. The 21 names for 2021 are:
Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda.
How are hurricanes named after 21?
In 1953, meteorologists from the United States began using female names for tropical storms and hurricanes that are seen in the North Atlantic region each year. However, Hurricane Wilma, which happened in 2005, marked the last time that only female names were officially used.
In 1979, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) established an international system for naming hurricanes and tropical storms that is still in effect today. Hurricanes and other major storms throughout the world’s ocean basins are now all given designated names in order of their region’s alphabetical order.
In the North Atlantic, this means that hurricanes are given female names that come from the list of 21 that is assembled by the WMO. All of the names must begin with a letter of the alphabet that corresponds to their region’s spot in the alphabetical order.
For example, the current list of 21 names for 2021 in the North Atlantic Region includes Anna, Bill, Claudette, and so on up to Viola before the list starts over with Ana. This system of assigning storms and hurricanes designated names helps to better communicate the storms’ presence, which can save lives by helping people to easily report and track the storms.
How do they choose hurricane names when there are more than 21 named storms?
When the National Hurricane Center predicts that there will be more than 21 named storms in an Atlantic hurricane season, they will use the Greek alphabet to name any additional storms. This system was first implemented in the 2005 hurricane season, when there were a total of 28 named storms.
The Greek Alphabet will be used to name any additional storms after the 21st named storm of the season. After the letters of the Greek alphabet have been exhausted, and there are still more storms in the season, the naming will revert back to the beginning of the Greek Alphabet.
For example, if the season has more than 28 named storms, the 9th additional storm will be named Alpha. A storm must reach tropical storm strength before it is given a name.
How do they pick the names for hurricanes?
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is responsible for assigning names to tropical cyclones, which includes hurricanes, around the world. Each basin or region is assigned its own naming system, with the Atlantic region using names from the list maintained and updated by the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The Atlantic hurricane season list, for example, contains six lists each containing 21 male and female names (alternating) alternating between years. The lists are repeated every six years, with the singular exception of storm names that were particularly memorable and that resulted in the retirement of their namesake from the list.
In the event a name is retired, a new name is selected and added to the list. Any names that were not used from a given year’s list will automatically be used for the same list six years later.
The NHC typically selects the names for Atlantic storms from this list based on consistency, flexibility and international etiquette. They select names independently of the year when the storm was active.
Names with multiple pronunciations, one-syllable names, and names ending with vowels are generally avoided.
Other regions use their own naming systems,with some basins designating a specific list of names that are used percent-wise in any given year, while other regions rotate their lists every year (the South-West Indian Ocean basin, for example, uses lists of names that also rotate every year).
How did they name the hurricanes once they ran out of the 22 letters to name storms?
Once all 22 letters of the Latin alphabet were used for naming hurricanes, the naming of storms turned to the Greek alphabet. The World Meteorological Organization began naming storms based on the letters of the Greek alphabet for the first time in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
This included Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and so on.
Because the Greek alphabet has a much larger number of letters — 24 compared to 22 in the Latin alphabet — storm names could be reused but not within the same six year cycle. The 2020 hurricane season reached the end of the Latin alphabet so the list of storm names will continue through the Greek alphabet and then start over at the beginning of the Latin alphabet again in the 2026 Atlantic hurricane season.
What happens if hurricane run out of names?
If a tropical storm or hurricane runs out of names, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has procedures in place that allow for the continued naming of storms. This includes selecting names from backup lists and creating alternate lists of names based on different themes.
The WMO regularly updates the lists of names that are used for tropical storms and hurricanes. After the names from the regular list are used, the backup list is utilized. Should the backup list also be used up, then a secondary list can be created from a different language or culture.
In addition to the alternate lists, numeric codes are used to identify storms when the official names are exhausted. This system of name/number labeling has been in place since the 1970s and is used worldwide.
In the case of the North Atlantic Ocean hurricane season, the letters of the Greek alphabet are also used if necessary.
The WMO maintains that no storm should ever have the same name as another, even if they are in different storm seasons, regions, or oceans. This is necessary to help distinguish the storms from each other and to provide an accurate account of all storm activity in a given year.
What hurricane names are retired?
There is a list of hurricane names that have been retired from rotation by the World Meteorological Organization. This list of names are retired due to the significant damage and fatalities caused by these storms.
The retired names are replaced with another name with the same first letter.
Retired Atlantic hurricane names include; Bob (1991), Frederic (1979), Gilbert (1988), Hugo (1989), Diane (1955), and Katrina (2005). Additionally, Hurricane Andrew (1992) has been retired from the Eastern Pacific hurricane list, Issac (2012) has been retired from the Central Pacific list, and Nargis (2008) was retired from the North Indian Ocean list.
For 2020, Dorian, Laura, and Maria were also retired from the Atlantic Hurricane list.
What makes hurricanes go away?
Hurricanes typically weaken over time because of several factors, the most important of which are cooler temperatures and the presence of wind shear.
Cooler temperatures decrease the amount of energy that fuels a hurricane, causing it to eventually go away. As hurricanes pass over cooler ocean temperatures, they rob the ocean of the energy it needs to sustain itself and eventually weaken.
Wind shear also affects hurricanes. Wind shear is the strengthening and weakening of wind speeds and directions at different heights in the atmosphere. When strong winds at different heights interact, they create a counterclockwise spinning effect, which weakens the hurricane and disrupts its formation of thunderstorms.
In addition, when the hurricane moves away from the ocean and into a land area, its source of energy – called warm, moist air – is gradually depleted. This lack of energy will cause the hurricane to weaken, but it may also cause the storm to change direction as it begins to move around or away from landmass.
Finally, hurricanes often times will, as they move over land or even as they move into the mid-latitudes, become caught up in large-scale weather features, such as troughs or ridges. As these weather features move, they can steer the hurricane in a direction it otherwise would not have gone, thus weakening it or outright dissipating it.
Can humans stop a hurricane?
No, humans are unable to stop a hurricane. Hurricanes are a natural phenomenon and result from a combination of warm ocean temperatures, moisture in the atmosphere and low pressure in the air. Hurricanes form over the water, pull in warm air and water vapor, and then move over land.
Once a hurricane begins, they are very difficult to stop, as they are naturally very powerful and bring with them destruction. Scientists are researching ways to possibly reduce the strength and destruction of a hurricane, but have not yet found a way to actually stop it.
Currently, the best way to prepare for a hurricane is to have a well-defined plan in place to protect lives and property, such as evacuation plans, stocking up on food and supplies, and preparing buildings and infrastructure.
Where does all the water go during a hurricane?
During a hurricane, the water moves through a process called the water cycle. First, the water vapor in the atmosphere condenses, forming clouds and rain. The rain falls to the ground, and some of it evaporates into the atmosphere while the rest of it collects into rivers, creeks, and streams.
From there, the water can flow into nearby drainage systems, carrying it out to the ocean. Once it reaches the ocean, the water recirculates into the atmosphere in the form of water vapor, beginning the cycle again.
Ultimately, much of the water is contained in the ocean in its salt water form and remains there until the next cycle begins.
Have hurricanes ever gotten to Z?
No, hurricanes have not reached Z as far as is known. While there have been numerous hurricanes in the past, none of them have had the necessary power to make it to Z. Hurricanes tend to track far away from land and into open water, so they generally don’t make it to Z.
Additionally, the geographical location of Z usually makes it difficult for hurricanes to form in the first place. This is mostly due to their need for warm ocean temperatures in order to survive, and the temperatures in the area surrounding Z are generally too cold.
When did they stop naming hurricanes after males?
The National Hurricane Center stopped naming hurricanes after just males in 1978. Before this, hurricanes had been given only female names since the 1950s. In 1978, men and women’s names were alternated, beginning with male-named storms first and then females.
This new system was designed to reduce confusion, as at the time, hurricane names were determined using a phonetic alphabet, where names such as Able and Baker were listed in alternating chronological order.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) started to use six lists of 21 male and 21 female names in 1979, and became the standard in the year 2000. In 2021, the WMO introduced six new names, four of which are female-named.