What happens if we run out of hurricane names this year? - Tucson News Now

What happens if we run out of hurricane names this year?

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It's been an active Atlantic Hurricane Season this year. Only two names are left on the list (see below). So what happens if we run out of names?  It's a possibility since hurricane season doesn't end until November 30th. 

If all the names are used on the official list, the World Meteorological Organization starts to use the Greek alphabet to name storms.  The only year Greek letters were used to name tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin was in 2005 when 28 storms formed during the season.

Below are the numbers for this year compared to the average and the National Hurricane Center's forecast for the 2012 season.

Average Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season (1981-2010)

Named Storms Hurricanes Major Hurricanes
12 6 3

2012 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season (as of 11/5)

Named Storms Hurricanes Major Hurricanes
19 10 1

2012 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season Forecast (August Update)

Named Storms Hurricanes Major Hurricanes
12-17 5-8

2-3

East Pacific tropical storms and hurricanes are also a concern for the United States.  These storms can rev up monsoon action in the western U.S., including here in Arizona.  NOAA's Climate Prediction Center forecast for the Pacific Basin is below compared to the average and observed numbers this year. 

Average East Pacific Basin Hurricane Season (1981-2010)

Named Storms Hurricanes Major Hurricanes
15 8 4

2012 East Pacific Hurricane Season (as of 11/5)

Named Storms Hurricanes Major Hurricanes
17 10 3

 2012 East Pacific Hurricane Season Forecast

Named Storms Hurricanes Major Hurricanes
12-18 5-9 2-5

Although the season has also been active in the East Pacific, there are still 7 names left on the list.  The season in the East Pacific also ends November 30th and it's not likely there will be 7 storms in the next month. 

You can follow current tropical storm and hurricanes spinning around the world at TucsonNewsNow.com on the Hurricane page.

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