Below is the list of Greek alphabet hurricane names for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season established by the World Meteorological Organization Tropical Cyclone Programme.
Because more than twenty-one named tropical cyclones occurred in the Atlantic basin in the 2020 season, all future 2020 storms will take names from the Greek alphabet.
The only other year that this has happened was in 2005.
During World War II, the practice of naming storms became widespread in weather map discussions among forecasters, especially Army and Navy meteorologists who plotted the movements of storms over the wide expanses of the Pacific Ocean.
In 1953, the United States abandoned a confusing two-year-old plan to name storms by a phonetic alphabet (Able, Baker, Charlie) when a new, international phonetic alphabet was introduced. That year, the United States began using female names for storms.
The practice of naming hurricanes solely after women came to an end in 1978 when men’s and women’s names were included in the Eastern North Pacific storm lists.
In 1979, male and female names were included in lists for the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico where two male names were only used once and then retired, David and Frederic.
The Atlantic Hurricane names lists are used in rotation and re-cycled every six years, i.e., the 2020 list will be used again in 2026.
The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity.
If a storm forms in the off-season, it will take the next name in the list based on the current calendar date. For example, if a tropical cyclone formed on December 28th, it would take the name from the previous season’s list of names. If a storm formed in February, it would be named from the subsequent season’s list of names.