2020 was a record setting year for tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Thirty storms were named, thirteen of which became hurricanes, and three of those were severe enough to be retired (Laura, Eta and Theta).

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Every year, 21 names in alphabetical order are set for named storms of the hurricane season.  Names beginning with Q, U, X, Y and Z are not included. If more than 21 named storms occur in one season, then the Greek Alphabet is used.  However, that will happen no more.  Last year, it just got confusing to have storms named Zeta, Eta and Theta to be active at the same time, so the World Meteorological Organization Hurricane Committee has come up with a supplementary list of names that will be used if and when we go over 21 named storms.  There would have to be a total of 42 named storms to completely exhaust both the primary and supplementary lists...let's home we don't get to that level.

Since 1950, a total of 93 storms have been retired.  Two of the strongest storms in East Texas history are on that list...remember Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008?  This year's list of names include:

  • Ana (already occurred in May in the Atlantic Ocean)
  • Bill
  • Claudette
  • Danny (Hey, I get my own storm this year!)
  • Elsa
  • Fred
  • Grace
  • Henri
  • Ida
  • Julian
  • Kate
  • Larry
  • Mindy
  • Nicholas
  • Odette
  • Peter
  • Rose
  • Sam
  • Teresa
  • Victor
  • Wanda

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is forecasting another above average year for the number of named storms in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, but hopefully nowhere near the 30 we had last year.  Up to 20 named storms are predicated with up to 13 of those becoming hurricanes.

 

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