With one month to go before Atlantic hurricane season shuts down for 2021, we’ve just used the last name on our list — Wanda.
“Traditionally, by November 19th, we would only have our 14th named storm, but this year we’ve had 21 before the month even started,” said CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar. If more storms develop after Subtropical Storm Wanda, which isn’t going to impact the United States because it’s well out in the Atlantic, weather officials will have to consult a brand new list!
In years past, we used the Greek alphabet to name storms after the main list of names was exhausted. But after needing it multiple times in recent years, several of the Greek letters were worthy of retirement — AND it became confusing on many levels. Therefore, a supplemental list has been created for times like these — when the last name on the alphabet list has been used and hurricane season is still weeks away from ending.
After Wanda, which will meander north for the next few days before turning to the southeast, we will see Adria, Braylen, Caridad, Deshawn and so on. Now that La Niña has formed in the Pacific, the chances of a few more storms popping up before the end of the season is a definite possibility. La Niña creates an environment in the Atlantic that favors more tropical weather development.
“Last year we had three named storms develop in November, two of which were major hurricanes (Eta and Iota). This was due in large part to La Niña,” said Chinchar. While the season is winding down, if the ingredients are there, we could see more. “Climatologically speaking, storms in November are most likely to develop in the western and northern Caribbean Sea, as well as in the central Atlantic near the 30°N latitude and 50°W longitude benchmark,” said Chinchar.