What happens if we run out of names during hurricane season?

Has happened twice since naming began

ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s a rarity, but it has happened before. Since the naming of tropical systems began in the 1950s, the 21 pre-determined names have only been used up twice -- in 2020 and 2005.

If you’re wondering, the letters, Q, U, X, Y, Z are not used due to a lack of names that start with those letters.

With better satellite technology to identify tropical systems and warming oceans, the probabilities of exhausting the names in a given season is higher than before.

[RELATED: Most retired hurricane letter]

Warmer oceans increase the probability of tropical or subtropical development early and late in the season.

Prior to 2021, the Greek alphabet was used to complete the season if all of the names were used. This could become problematic, however, if Greek alphabet storms were retired, like in 2020.

Now, a supplemental list of names will be used to complete the season if necessary.

That way, in the event a storm is retired, the name could be replaced with a new name.

This list of name will replace the Greek Alphabet in the event a particular season runs out of given names.

About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 and now covers weather on TV and all digital platforms.