Cyclone names for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season are out: Did you make the list?
The National Hurricane Center’s official list of Atlantic tropical cyclone names for 2021 is out. Did your name make the cut this year?
Actually, there’s not much mystery to the list because the names are used in rotation and recycled every six years. For instance, many of the names in 2021 will be used again in 2027.
But sometimes the named storms gain enough notoriety for their death and damage that the names are “retired” from the list — sort of the meteorological version of retiring the jersey number of a star athlete.
Three cyclone names from last year — Laura, Eta and Iota — were retired.
The names of Atlantic tropical storms are maintained and updated through a strict procedure by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization.
Here are a few key things to know about the naming process:
• Hurricane names cover only 21 letters of the alphabet because of how hard it is to find a name that starts with Q, U, X, Y and Z for each of the six rotating lists.
• English, French and Spanish names are used in balance on the list to reflect the geographical coverage of Atlantic and Caribbean storms.
• According to the World Meteorological Organization, "the list is also gender-balanced and respectful of societal sensitivities."
Last year, the Atlantic hurricane season produced 30 named storms. Previously, the most active Atlantic hurricane season was 2005, the year Katrina devastated New Orleans as one of 27 named storms. That season was the first to exhaust human names and use Greek letters.
But starting this year, a list of supplemental names for tropical cyclones will be used instead of Greek letters. According to the WMO, members decided to abandon the Greek alphabet "because it creates a distraction from the communication of hazard and storm warnings and is potentially confusing."
So when the Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1, the sequence of names for 2021 will be: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor and Wanda.
Then once those names are exhausted, meteorologists will begin pulling from the supplemental list of names in alphabetical order.
With more modern monikers in this group, the list of supplemental names almost sounds like the roll call for an American kindergarten class: Adria, Braylen, Caridad, Deshawn, Emery, Foster, Gemma, Heath, Isla, Jacobus, Kenzie, Lucio, Makayla, Nolan, Orlanda, Pax, Ronin, Sophie, Tayshaun, Viviana and Will.
If your name didn't make the cut this year, there's always 2022. The names for 2022 are: Alex, Colin, Bonnie, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Martin, Nicole, Owen, Paula, Richard, Tobias, Shary, Virginie and Walter.
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