November 24, 2020

With Zeta churning in Gulf has season exhausted two alphabets? Not quite

In a year of unbelievable occurrences all across the globe, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is one for the record books, but despite what many of us may think, we have not yet exhausted two full alphabets.

You see the Greek alphabet is a little tricky. It doesn’t end with a Z – not even close.

Technically, the Greek alphabet, which is used when the number of named storms exceeds the 21 Western names outlined before the season starts – has 18 more letters left before we end with Omega.

Christians may recall a Biblical scripture from the book of Revelation which reads: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

The naming of hurricanes began in 1953 when the National Hurricane Center began keeping a list of names. That list is now maintained by the World Meteorological Organization.

In case you don’t remember all the named storms from 2020 so far, here they are:

Arthur
Bertha
Cristobal
Dolly
Edouard
Fay
Gonzalo
Hanna
Isaias
Josephine
Kyle
Laura
Marco
Nana
Omar
Paulette
Rene
Sally
Teddy
Vicky
Wilfred
Alpha
Beta
Gamma
Delta
Epsilon
Zeta

If another storm forms before the season officially ends on Nov. 30, here’s what’s coming next, name-wise:

Eta
Theta
Iota
Kappa
Lambda
Mu
Nu
Xi
Omicron
Pi
Rho
Sigma
Tau
Upsilon
Phi
Chi
Psi
Omega