The Greek alphabet will no longer be used to name tropical storms in the Atlantic as announced by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) last March 17. On their Twitter account, they posted, “The Greek alphabet will never be used again as it was distracting and confusing”. It is potentially confusing, according to the WMO, because it diverts attention away from danger and storm warnings. This decision was made at the WMO’s Hurricane Committee’s annual meeting, which was held to discuss past hurricane seasons and operational strategy for the seasons to come. Three names of devastating storms from 2020 were also pulled out: Laura, Eta, and Iota.

The World Meteorological Organization is responsible for naming all tropical systems in all ocean basins around the world. 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 once all the names of the storms on the list were exhausted. It will be replaced by a supplementary list of names that follows the same rules as the primary Atlantic hurricane season naming list, with the exception of the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z.