WMO retires tropical cyclone names and ends the use of Greek alphabet



The World Meteorological Organization has retired four names from the rotating lists of Atlantic tropical cyclone names. Dorian (2019) and Laura, Eta and Iota (2020) will not be used again due to the death and destruction they caused.


It was also announced that the Greek alphabet will not be used in future because it creates a distraction from the communication of hazard and storm warnings and is potentially confusing.


The meeting reviewed the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic season and fine-tuned preparations for 2021, including the provision of forecasts and warnings, as well as impact assessments, for wind, storm surge and flooding hazards.


There will be no changes to the official start date of the Atlantic hurricane season in 2021.

The 2020 season got off to an early and rapid start with a record nine named storms from May through July. It ended late, with two major hurricanes in November for the first time on record and at a time when the season is normally winding down. The season was so active that WMO’s 21-name rotating list was exhausted and the Greek alphabet was used for only the second time (the first time was in 2005).