By Lissette Gonzalez

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The 2020 hurricane season was not only the most active season on record, it was just the second time ever we exhausted the list of pre-planned hurricane names and spilled over into the Greek Alphabet.

The first time was in 2005.

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As a result, in March, the World Meteorological Organization decided we will no longer use Greek names due to last year’s challenges with communication and difficulty with pronunciation.

The WMO said the Greek list was a “distraction” from the impact of threatening storms and was confusing especially when translated into other languages. Also, the names Zeta, Eta and Theta all sound alike and follow one another alphabetically.

The National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said this made it difficult for people to differentiate between them.

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“For the first time ever we were faced with retiring 2 greek alphabet names. We’ve never had to do that before. So let’s not distract from the message,” said Graham.  “It’s all about the impacts.”

Moving forward, if the annual name list is exhausted, a supplemental list will be used instead of the Greek Alphabet. It is alphabetical order excluding Q, U, X, Y and Z.

If a name on the supplemental list is retired, it will be replaced. The list itself will not change from year to year.

Hopefully, 2021 will not be busy enough to have to use the alternate list of names.

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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

Lissette Gonzalez