What happens if we run out of storm names this hurricane season?

Reporter: Lauren Kreidler
Published: Updated:

With just over two months left in the 2023 hurricane season, four names remain on the 2023 storm name list. Tropical Storm Rina formed earlier this week, leaving four names left on the name list.

We have seen 17 named storms, with long-term forecasts showing that we will continue to see an above-average hurricane season.

So what happens if we run out of names? While it’s safe to say that we all wish it meant we could just close the curtains on this year’s hurricane season, in reality, we move onto a supplementary list of names.

In the years past, when we would run out of storm names, we would move on to the Greek alphabet. We saw this happen only twice, once in 2005 and more recently in 2020. In 2020, we experienced a record-breaking hurricane season with a total of 30 named storms.

The World Meteorological Organization decided that using the Greek alphabet for backup storms would no longer happen as it can be “potentially confusing.”

Instead, there is now a supplemental list of names to use in the occasion that we run out of names on our storm name list.

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