While perhaps not the name list to utilize when expecting a child, the National Hurricane Center has released the list of names for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.
The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season names list begins with a rather familiar name. The season’s first named storm will be Andrea, which kicked off the 2013 season in early June and was a subtropical storm before Mother’s Day in early May 2007.
Atlantic storm name lists are maintained by a committee of the World Meteorological Organization and repeat every six years, unless a hurricane or storm is so destructive and/or deadly that the committee votes to retire use of the name.
Because September 2013’s Ingrid – which claimed at least 155 lives in Mexico – was retired, the new name Imelda appears in this year’s list. Due to 2018 storms, the committee also selected the replacement names for Florence and Michael as Francine and Milton, respectively. These names will first appear in the 2024 list of storm names.
Atlantic basin tropical cyclones are named when maximum sustained winds reach at least 40 mph, tropical storm status.
On average, 12 named storms form in a given season, six of which become hurricanes, three of which become major hurricanes, those that pack winds of at least Category 3 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.
If an average season, that would take the list through the “L” storm. Often this decade, there’s been a much deeper dive into the name list. Nineteen storms occurred in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Only two seasons in the 2010s have been below average: 2014 had only eight named storms and 2015 had 11 named storms.
If all 21 names are used up in a season and another name is needed, the National Hurricane Center would then begin using letters from the Greek alphabet.
That has happened only once in the history of naming tropical cyclones. In the record-smashing 2005 season, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta had to be utilized. Tropical Storm Zeta formed on Dec. 30 that year and carried into early January 2006, more than a month after the official end of the season.
As of now, meteorologists at AccuWeather are predicting at least 12 to 14 storms during the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season (June 1 to November 30), with five to seven expected to become hurricanes, and two to four expected to become major hurricanes.