When it comes to naming storms, you might be saying, "it's all Greek to me."


What You Need To Know

  • There is a system to naming tropical storms and hurricanes

  • All 21 names have been used this year

  • The Greek alphabet comes in when the traditional list of names runs out

There is a science to naming tropical storms and hurricanes, with six different lists. Learn more about who names hurricanes with meteorologist Katie Walls. 

This year’s list started with Arthur and ends with Wilfred. With every storm after Wilfred, the letters from the Greek alphabet will be used.

This has only happened once, back in 2005. That was the same year as Hurricane Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.

With 27 storms in the 2005 tropical season, the names Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta were used. 

The 2020 season has be similar to what we saw in 2005, so exhausting this year's list hasn't been the biggest surprise. Learn more about the similarities the 2020 season shares with the 2005 hurricane season with meteorologist Doug Lindsay.

This graph shows the number of named storms in 2005 and 2020 from May through the end of September, highlighting some of the notable hurricanes.

We still have a couple months left to go in the official hurricane season. It may be time to dust off your old sorority or fraternity "letters shirt" and study up on the Greek alphabet.