Numbers in the News: Naming Storms

Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November. Check out these facts and figures about how big storms get their names.

LAUREN DAUPHIN/NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY IMAGE

1953

The year the U.S. National Hurricane Center began naming storms to make it quicker and easier to identify and alert people in a storm’s path.

 FAT JACKEY/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

21

The number of names created each year to identify Atlantic storms. Historically, if a season surpassed 21 storms, additional storms were named after letters of the Greek alphabet, like Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.

2021

The year in which scientists stopped using the Greek alphabet to identify storms beyond 21. They’ll instead use an additional list of 21 names. 

RANDALL CHASE/AP IMAGES

93

The number of storm names, including Harvey and Sandy, retired since 1954. Names are not reused if storms were particularly destructive or deadly.

THINK ABOUT IT: In 2020, there were 30 named storms. How many of these were named after Greek letters?

SOURCES: WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION

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