Backup list created for hurricane season as Greek alphabet is scrapped

The Greek alphabet has been dropped in the naming of hurricanes in busy years.

Residents wade through a flooded road in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta in Planeta, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)

The move was announced during a special World Meteorological Organization committee meeting today (March 17).

Traditionally, the Greek alphabet was used after the 21 names of the Atlantic hurricane season are used – this has only been done twice before, in 2005 and last year when nine were used.

However, the global meteorological body said the practice is confusing and with several of the Greek names, such as Zeta and Eta, sounding too similar, which created some misunderstanding.

Going forward, a backup list will be used if the number of named storms exceeds the 21 initially provided.

This season’s supplemental list begins with Adria and ends with Will.

The Atlantic hurricane season will begin on June 1, despite efforts to have it moved up two weeks earlier after the past six seasons saw storms developing in May.