MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) will retire Greek hurricane names after a record-breaking hurricane season in 2020.

The WMO retired the Greek alphabet because “it creates a distraction from the communication of hazard and storm warnings and is potentially confusing.”

The committee also said there are several issues with using the Greek alphabet, including:

  • There can be too much focus on the use of Greek alphabet names and not the actual impacts from the storm. This can greatly detract from the needed impact and safety messaging.
  • There is confusion with some Greek alphabet names when they are translated into other languages used within the region.
  • The pronunciation of several of the Greek letters (Zeta, Eta, Theta) are similar and occur in succession. In 2020, this resulted in storms with very similar sounding names occurring simultaneously, which led to messaging challenges rather than streamlined and clear communication.
  • Impacts from Eta and Iota were severe enough that those names have formally retired by the Hurricane Committee. There was no formal plan for retiring Greek names and the future use of these names would be inappropriate.

The committee said it will create a supplemental list of names that would be used in instances where the regular list of names is used up. Last year was the second time in the last 15 years the standard list of names was used up.

The supplemental list of names that will replace the Greek alphabet in the Atlantic are: Adria, Braylen, Caridad, Deshawn, Emery, Foster, Gemma, Heath, Isla, Jacobus, Kenzie, Lucio, Makayla, Nolan, Orlanda, Pax, Ronin, Sophie, Tayshaun, Viviana, and Will.

The WMO also retired Dorian, Laura, Eta, and Iota as names due to the death and destruction caused by those storms. In total, 93 names have been retired from the rotation since 1953, the WMO said.