What If We Run Out of Hurricane Names?

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The Eastern Pacific hurricane season has been very active; it's one of the most active seasons on record! This week, moisture from Hurricane Willa will bring rain to North Texas on Wednesday.

Willa is the 23rd named storm in the Pacific this season. Next on the list: Xavier, Yolanda and Zeke. Tropical storms are named from lists put together by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization.

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The lists are names in alphabetical order alternating male and female. Willa, the “W” storm, is close to the end of the alphabet. What happens when you run out of names?

Additional storms after the “Z” name will take names from the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma.

The last time we had to use the Greek Alphabet to name hurricanes was in 2005. In the Atlantic the last name on the list in 2005 was Wilma and after that we named six more storms: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta. This was also the only time we had to revert to the Greek Alphabet to name storms.

Get the latest forecast information from NBC 5's team of Weather Experts here.


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