Meteorologists have run out of names for tropical storms in the Atlantic

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There have now been so many major storms in the Atlantic that meteorologists have for the second time ever been forced to name them after the Greek alphabet.

This satellite image shows Hurricane Teddy in the Atlantic Ocean. Now the World Meteorological Organization WMO has used up all the names on the predetermined list of names of tropical storms. New storms are now named after the letters of the Greek alphabet. NOAA via AP / NTB

The hurricane season in 2020 has created so many storms that all the names on this year’s list, which begin with letters in the English alphabet, have been used.

Tropical Storm Beta was in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, with wind speeds of up to 18 meters per second. It is expected to become a hurricane during the weekend.

At the same time, the subtropical storm Alpha is formed on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, about 190 km off the Portuguese coast. It is not expected to become more powerful.

The storms are named after letters in the Greek alphabet after tropical storm Wilfred, which was last on the list, appeared on Friday. The list consists of 21 boy and girl names, which alternate in alphabetical order, and are changed every year.

The list is prepared by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). WMO selects names that are easily recognizable in multiple locations, so no names starting with X, Y or Z are selected.

This is only the second time ever that all the names on the list have been used up. The last time was in 2005, when Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma wreaked havoc in Louisiana and Florida, respectively.

The two names, along with Maria, Irma and Harvey, have been permanently removed from the WMO lists due to the damage they caused.

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