The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced last March 17 that the Greek alphabet will no longer be used to name tropical storms in the Atlantic. “The Greek alphabet will never be used again as it was distracting and confusing,” the organization tweeted. WMO said that it is potentially confusing since it distracts the communication of hazard and storm warnings. This decision was finalized in the annual meeting of the WMO’s Hurricane Committee to discuss past hurricane seasons and operational plans for the coming seasons. The names of devastating storms from 2020 were also retired: Laura, Eta, and Iota.

The World Meteorological Organization is in charge of naming all tropical systems in every ocean basin worldwide. The list of Atlantic tropical storm names is repeated every six years unless a storm is so deadly or expensive that the WMO removes it from their future lists. Greek letters were used as backups for when all the names of the storms from the list were used. It will now be replaced by a supplemental list of names that follows the same rules as the main Atlantic hurricane season naming list – a list of names from A – Z except the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z.