By Jennifer Correa

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The World Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee has announced it will no longer use the Greek alphabet and is retiring three 2020 names from the rotating list.

When it comes to the Atlantic hurricane season, the 2020 season was a record-breaking one with 30 named storms, 12 of which made U.S. landfalls. This shattered the 1916 record of nine U.S. landfalling storms in one season.

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Also, this past hurricane season was not just an active one, it gave itself a quick head start with a record of nine named storms developing between May and July.

As early and as quickly that the season started, we might have thought that it would have ended earlier but it didn’t. In fact, the 2020 hurricane season ended late and destructive. There were two major hurricanes in November — Hurricane Eta and Iota. Both made landfall in almost the same areas of Nicaragua in just less than two weeks apart.

The 2020 Atlantic season was the second time that the Greek alphabet was used — the first time was in 2005. However, in preparations for the 2021 season, the World Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee made the decision to no longer use the Greek alphabet.

In a press release, published on March 17, the WMO’s Hurricane Committee stated that “…the Greek alphabet will not be used in future because it creates a distraction from the communication of hazard and storm warnings and is potentially confusing.”

It was agreed between the Hurricane Committee members to create a supplemental list of names from A to Z but excluding letters Q, U, X, Y and Z. This list will replace the Greek alphabet beginning this 2021 season.

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Of course this supplemental list will be used when the standard list of Atlantic storms is exhausted during a given season.

Also, the names can be retired and replaced, when required, as it is done with the standard list.

Another critical decision made by the WMO’s Hurricane Committee was to retire the names of storms from 2020 season as well as from 2019.

The 2020 names that are now retired from the rotating list are Laura, Eta and Iota. Dorian, from 2019, was also retired and it took longer than usual to officially retire the 2019 devastating storm because this was not on the agenda of last year’s Hurricane Committee due to the unfolding COVID-19 crisis.

Dorian is now replaced with Dexter and Laura is replaced with Leah.

Atlantic storm names are on six-year rotating lists and the names are retired when there are death and destruction caused by the storm.

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Here is the supplemental name list for Atlantic tropical cyclones that will replace the Greek alphabet:

  • Adria
  • Braylen
  • Caridad
  • Deshawn
  • Emery
  • Foster
  • Gemma
  • Heath
  • Isla
  • Jacobus
  • Kenzie
  • Lucio
  • Makayla
  • Nolan
  • Orlando
  • Pax
  • Ronin
  • Sophie
  • Tayshaun
  • Viviana
  • Will

Jennifer Correa