Ever wonder who’s in charge of tropical storm and hurricane names?

It’s the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). There are also storm names to include: Australia, India, China, Jakarta & Port Moseby.

For this article, we’ll focus on the Atlantic Basin covering the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico & North Atlantic Ocean.

Names are not based off individual people, rather common ones people are familiar with where tropical storms and hurricanes impact. They’re of English, Spanish, French & Portuguese decent, which are the languages frequently spoken in North America, Central America & the Caribbean.

Male and female names are rotated in alphabetical order excluding: Q, U, X, Y, Z.

There are six lists of 21 names recycled every six years in the Atlantic Basin. The names from last year in 2022 may sound familiar in 2028, since they’re repeated. The exception to this are retired names. A name is retired when the storm is particularly deadly or costly. Think of imminent hurricanes like Katrina, Irma and Andrew.

Here’s the list of hurricane names you won’t see recycled for the Atlantic Basin:
Agnes, Alicia, Allen, Allison, Andrew, Anita, Audrey, Betsy, Beulah, Bob, Camille, Carla, Carmen, Carol, Celia, Cesar, Charley, Cleo, Connie, David, Dean, Dennis, Diana, Diane, Donna, Dora, Dorian, Edna, Elena, Eloise, Erika, Eta, Fabian, Felix, Fifi, Fiona, Flora, Florence, Floyd, Fran, Frances, Frederic, Georges, Gilbert, Gloria, Greta, Gustav, Harvey, Hattie, Hazel, Hilda, Hortense, Hugo, Ian, Ida, Igor, Ike, Inez, Ingrid, Ione, Iota, Irene, Iris, Irma, Isabel, Isadore, Ivan, Janet, Jeanne, Joan, Joaquin, Juan, Katrina, Keith, Klaus, Laura, Lenny, Lili, Luis, Maria, Marilyn, Matthew, Michael, Michelle, Mitch, Nate, Noel, Opal, Otto, Paloma, Rita, Roxanne, Sandy, Stan, Tomas, Wilma

The list of names for 2023 are:

  • Arlene (ar-LEEN)
  • Bret (bret)
  • Cindy (SIN-dee)
  • Don (dahn)
  • Emily (EH-mih-lee)
  • Franklin (FRANK-lin)
  • Gert (gert)
  • Harold (HAIR-uld)
  • Idalia (ee-DAL-ya)
  • Jose (ho-ZAY)
  • Katia (KAH-tyah)
  • Lee (lee)
  • Margot (MAR-go)
  • Nigel (NY-juhl)
  • Ophelia (o-FEEL-ya
  • Phillippe (fee-LEEP)
  • Rina (REE-nuh)
  • Sean (shawn)
  • Tammy (TAM-ee)
  • Vince (vinss)
  • Whitney (WHIT-nee)

So what happens when we reach the bottom of the list? As of 2021, a supplemental list of names will be used.

The only times a secondary list has been used was 2005 (the year of Hurricane Katrina) and 2020, when there were 30 named storms in the Atlantic Basin. The Greek alphabet was used as the secondary list for these years.

As of 2021, a supplemental list will be used in lieu of the Greek alphabet, according to the WMO. National Weather Service said the Greek alphabet left more of the public confused on the sound and order of the letters, rather than focused on the storm itself.

For example, Zeta is the sixth letter in the Greek alphabet, but was interpreted as the last name on the list since the English alphabet ends in Z.

Here is the previous list of the Greek alphabet:

  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Gamma
  • Delta
  • Epsilon
  • Zeta
  • Eta
  • Theta
  • Iota
  • Kappa
  • Lamda
  • Mu
  • Nu
  • Xi
  • Omicron
  • Pi
  • Rho
  • Sigma
  • Tau
  • Upsilon
  • Phi
  • Chi
  • Psi
  • Omega

Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30 each year.