Goodbye Greek Alphabet Hurricanes – Hello Names With Q or Z?


The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was solely the second yr during which the Greek alphabet had for use to call storms. The first yr was 2005. The Greek alphabet is used when the annual identify record is accomplished. The yr 2020 featured 30 named storms and reached Iota. However, questions had been raised about what occurs if a Greek letter-named storm must be retired or if your entire alphabet is consumed. I beforehand mentioned proposals for utilizing a supplemental record in a earlier article in Forbes. This week, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) retired using the Greek alphabet going ahead in addition to few storm names from the 2020 season.

According to a press release, the Hurricane Committee of the WMO, which options members from nationwide meteorological and hydrological companies, decided 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.” The identical press launch additionally introduced the retirement of Dorian (2019) and Laura, Eta and Iota (2020). Storm names are retired from the 6-yr rotating lists in the event that they trigger very vital injury and/or deaths.

In November, nicely-identified meteorologist Nate Johnson tweeted a provocative thought. Johnson isn’t any stranger to the climate group. He is the Director of Weather Operations for NBCUniversal Owned TV Stations, the present president of the National Weather Association (NWA), and part of the legendary Podcast WeatherBrains. While he was talking as a person (and never from any organizational perspective), his concepts resonated with me. In a nutshell, he argued (and possibly others had too) for utilizing a system comparable to what’s achieved in another basins (together with the Western North Pacific, Central North Pacific, South China Sea). They use a number of lists with names in sequential order. He additionally advocated that the names be picked up firstly of the following yr quite than resetting.

Here’s the brand new course of introduced by the WMO and options some points just like what Johnson tweeted:

  • A supplemental record of names A-Z (excluding Q, U, in addition to X, Y, and Z on the Atlantic record) shall be created
  • Names on that record could possibly be retired and changed as wanted.

Ultimately, the WMO committee was involved concerning the problem of retiring a Greek letter names; the pronunciation points when they’re translated to different languages; the similarity of sure Greek letters like Eta, Theta, Zeta; and the main focus by the media and different messengers on the Greek letters quite than the storm impacts.

While they gained’t be on the principle 6-yr rotating identify lists, in case your identify begins with a Q, U, X, Y and Z then you might even see it on the supplemental lists.




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