The NHC is out of hurricane names for 2020; here’s what happens next

Updated: Sep. 18, 2020 at 12:05 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season was expected to be an active one and it certainly has lived up to the hype.

2020 Hurricane Season
2020 Hurricane Season(WMC-TV5)

Each year the National Hurricane Center issues a list of 21 names they will call storms that form in the Atlantic Ocean.

On Sept. 18, just eight days after the peak of Hurricane Season, the NHC officially named a storm Wilfred, exhausting the list of names used for this Hurricane season.

Tracking the Tropics
Tracking the Tropics(WMC Action News 5)

With four storms that the NHC is still watching for development, and a whole 130 plus days until the “official” end of Hurricane Season, what happens next?

For the first time in 15 years, and only the second time in history, the National Hurricane Center will start naming names after the Greek alphabet.

2020 Hurricane Season
2020 Hurricane Season(WMC-TV5)

The last time the tropics were this active were back in 2005, the year that brought storms the likes of Katrina and Rita. A total of 28 named systems occurred that year, using the Greek alphabet from Alpha to Zeta.

This means the tropical system that is currently spinning across the Gulf of Mexico, will most likely become Tropical Storm Beta or Gamma, in the near future. A storm that bears watching as it spins in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Depression 22
Tropical Depression 22(WMC Action News 5)

There is some debate on if the Greek alphabet should be used. Major storms that cause widespread damage and devastation are usually retired by the World Meteorological Organization.

If one of the Greek named storms were to provide such destruction, currently the storm name will not be retired and could be used again in future cases the Greek alphabet will be used. Scientists and meteorologists are debating what to do for the future.

Meanwhile, the tropics are expected to continue to be active through the next few weeks and months as we move closer to the end of Hurricane Season on Nov. 30.

As always, stay with the WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather Team as we track the tropics and show you what to expect.

Also, remember to download the free WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather app for your smartphone or tablet, so you can track the tropics whenever you are.

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