Break out the Greek alphabet: Tropical Storm Wilfred claims final name on 2020 hurricane season list

Tracking the Tropics

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tropical Storm Wilfred formed in the Atlantic on Friday, claiming the final name on the National Hurricane Center’s list of names for the 2020 hurricane season.

Wilfred formed in the eastern tropical Atlantic around 11 a.m. ET from an area of low pressure that was being monitored a few hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.

Less than two hours later, the first letter of the Greek alphabet was claimed as well when Subtropical Storm Alpha formed near the coast of Portugal.

Tropical Depression 22 is also expected to become a tropical storm Friday.

When every name on the NHC’s annual storm names list is used up, storms start getting named after letters in the Greek alphabet.

This year, we blew through all 21 names included in the list by the third week in September – just about one week after the statistical peak of the hurricane season.

The last time we had to use the Greek alphabet was the 2005 hurricane season. According to Dr. Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist from Colorado State University, we reached the last name on the list on Oct. 8 that year. That makes Wilfred the earliest 21st named storm on record in the Atlantic.

The list of 21 names put together by the NHC each year includes a name for every letter in the alphabet except for Q, U, X, Y and Z.

The next named storms will be Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta, followed by the other letters of the Greek alphabet.

TRACKING THE TROPICS:

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