We’re currently watching Hurricane Sally as it heads toward the US Gulf Coast, and Tropical Storm Vicky formed in the Atlantic yesterday.

That means there is only one name on the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season list — Wilfred — left.

So what happens if they run out of names? If there’s more than one more named storm this year — which seems likely — the National Hurricane Center will have to use the Greek alphabet for additional storm names. 

This would be only the second time in recorded history that this has happened. In 2005, the NHC had to use six letters off the Greek alphabet to account for the record number of storms. Four of those systems reached tropical storm strength (Alpha, Gamma, Delta, and Zeta), while the two other storms reached hurricane strength (Beta and Epsilon).

The NHC does not use the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z because there aren’t enough names to fill those letters.


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