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The names to watch for during the 2022 hurricane season

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Hurricane Dean was the first hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic season. It formed in the latter half of August, when it swallowed the Yucatán Peninula on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Stocktrek

It has been more than three months since the last tropical system in the Atlantic: Remember Tropical Storm Wanda? But now we are just 93 days away from the official start of the 2022 hurricane season on June 1, with daily National Hurricane Center reports beginning May 15.

The 2021 season was the third-most active on record with 21 named storms, and the second season in a row when all 21 names were used. 2021 was also the sixth straight year to see above-average tropical activity.

Here are the names the National Hurricane Center in Miami lined up for the 2022 hurricane season:

  • Alex
  • Bonnie
  • Colin
  • Danielle
  • Earl
  • Fiona
  • Gaston
  • Hermine
  • Ian
  • Julia
  • Karl
  • Lisa
  • Martin
  • Nicole
  • Owen
  • Paula
  • Richard
  • Shary
  • Tobias
  • Virginie
  • Walter

Atlantic tropical storms have been named by the National Hurricane Center since 1953 and maintained by an international committee from the World Meteorological Organization.

At first, storms were given only female names. Rumor has it that a member of the naming committee was angry at his wife and wanted to name a storm after her. The next generation of forecasters decided that was pretty sexist, so they started mixing in male names by 1979.

The lists of names above are used in rotation and recycled every six years, so expect to see these names again in 2028. Only names associated with extremely deadly or costly storms are retired.

A more recent change to the list is the use of Greek letters once we’ve run out of names. The 2005 and 2020 seasons were the only ones to feature the Greek alphabet. 

But what would happen after a storm was so destructive the name should be retired, as was the case for Eta and Iota in 2020?

Additionally, coronavirus variants use Greek letters, adding to possible confusion. Imagine Hurricane Omicron heading your way.

To account for these dilemmas, the WMO created a supplemental list of 21 names from A to W that alternates male and female. This list will remain the same each year, only swapping out a name if it is retired for bad behavior. 

  • Adria (prounuced AHH-dree-ah)
  • Braylen
  • Caridad
  • Deshawn
  • Emery
  • Foster
  • Gemma (pronouned HEM-mah)
  • Heath
  • Isla
  • Jacobus
  • Kenzie
  • Lucio
  • Makayla
  • Nolan
  • Orlanda
  • Pax
  • Ronin
  • Sophie
  • Tayshaun
  • Viviana
  • Will
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