The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was solely the second 12 months through which the Greek alphabet had for use to call storms. The primary 12 months was 2005. The Greek alphabet is used when the annual title checklist is accomplished. The 12 months 2020 featured 30 named storms and reached Iota. Nonetheless, questions had been raised about what occurs if a Greek letter-named storm must be retired or if all the alphabet is consumed. I beforehand mentioned proposals for utilizing a supplemental checklist in a earlier article in Forbes. This week, the World Meteorological Group (WMO) retired the usage of the Greek alphabet going ahead in addition to few storm names from the 2020 season.
In keeping with a press launch, the Hurricane Committee of the WMO, which options members from nationwide meteorological and hydrological providers, decided that, “the Greek alphabet is not going to be utilized in future as a result of it creates a distraction from the communication of hazard and storm warnings and is probably complicated.” The identical press launch additionally introduced the retirement of Dorian (2019) and Laura, Eta and Iota (2020). Storm names are retired from the 6-year rotating lists in the event that they trigger very vital harm and/or deaths.
In November, well-known meteorologist Nate Johnson tweeted a provocative thought. Johnson is not any stranger to the climate group. He’s the Director of Climate Operations for NBCUniversal Owned TV Stations, the present president of the Nationwide Climate Affiliation (NWA), and part of the legendary Podcast WeatherBrains. Whereas 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 related to what’s accomplished 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 at first of the subsequent 12 months moderately than resetting.
Right here’s the brand new course of introduced by the WMO and options some points just like what Johnson tweeted:
- A supplemental checklist of names A-Z (excluding Q, U, in addition to X, Y, and Z on the Atlantic checklist) might be created
- Names on that checklist may very well be retired and changed as wanted.
Finally, the WMO committee was involved in regards to 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 moderately than the storm impacts.
Whereas they gained’t be on the primary 6-year rotating title lists, in case your title begins with a Q, U, X, Y and Z then you may even see it on the supplemental lists.