Running out of names: hurricane alphabet winds as UN body 2020


Only “Wilfred” remains unused in 2020, meaning that a switch of the Greek alphabet is rotating (representative)

Geneva, Switzerland:

The United Nations said on Tuesday that many Atlantic storms and tropical storms have come this year, with the world running out of names for them.

The storms are first named in alphabetical order but this year they are slated to run out.

“The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is so active that the regular list of hurricane names is expected to end,” Claire Nullis, a Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization (WMO) spokesman for the United Nations, quoted a media briefing as saying.

“If this happens, the Greek alphabet will be used for the second time on record.”

In the annual hurricane season lasting from 1 June to 30 November, the storm is assigned alternately to male and female names, beginning this year with Arthur and Bertha.

Hurricanes are named in warning messages to make them easier to identify.

Names are handled by WMO. They are reused every six years, although if the storms are particularly devastating, the name is retired and changed.

Name lists use 21 of the 26 letters of the alphabet, as the balance of the six easily identifiable English, Spanish, French and Dutch names makes it difficult to begin with Q, U, X, Y and Z – dialect. Languages ​​known affect Atlantic and Caribbean regions.

This year, only the name Wilfred remains unused, meaning a switch to the Greek alphabet.

Joint record

In the latest state of the game, Hurricane Paulette kept her eye on Bermuda on Monday; Tropical Depression Renee has now spread; Hurricane Sally is likely to cause flash floods on the US Gulf Coast on Tuesday; Tropical Storm Teddy is expected to become a storm on Tuesday, while Tropical Storm is on Vicky Atlantic.

Nalis said a record was set in September 1971 due to five tropical cyclones over the Atlantic Basin.

And according to the US National Hurricane Center, an area of ​​low pressure has formed near Cape Verde and has a 50 percent chance of forming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours.

The Greek alphabet was used only once before in 2005, when the first six letters were used as storm names: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, and zeta.

That extraordinary year saw the devastating hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, whose names were all retired.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and published from a syndicated feed.)


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