As Vicky forms in the Atlantic, we’re almost out of storm names for 2020

Storm Map – 3D Rendering

GENEVA (NewsNation Now) — As Hurricane Sally prepares to make landfall, Hurricane Paulette and Tropical Storms Teddy and Vicky are sitting in the Atlantic Ocean, and the list of 2020 names for storms has come down to one more: Wilfred.

The number of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Basin has actually tied a record Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center. The most number of tropical cyclones at once is five and that was set in September 1971. Rene is now a tropical depression.

Satellite image from Monday showing five tropical cyclones in the Atlantic.

Hurricane Sally is expected to make landfall along the Gulf Coast of the United States, with extreme flooding through Wednesday. Hurricane Paulette remains northeast of Bermuda and is expected to continue eastward, and not impact the U.S.

Tropical Storm Teddy is expected to “become a large and powerful hurricane over the central Atlantic Ocean in a few days,” according to the National Hurricane Center. It’s too early to say if it will head toward the United States. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Vicky is forecast to weaken over the next couple of days. That storm is currently west of the African coast.

There are three tropical disturbances, which could form into the next storm. The most likely is located just off the African coast, and has a 50% chance of forming in the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.

So, what comes after Wilfred? It’s something NewsNation Chief Meteorologist Albert Ramon and Meteorologist Gerard Jebaily have been talking about for the last several weeks. The Greek alphabet will kick in next. It’s only happened once before, in 2005, the same year as Hurricane Katrina, according to the World Meteorological Organization, which is in charge of the naming of the storms.

In 2005, six names were used from the Greek alphabet.

For the normal list of names, six lists are used in rotation. The 2020 list will be used again in 2026.

Sometimes names are removed from the list.

“The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity,” according to the WMS.

Sandy and Katrina are two examples of storm names that have been retired.


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