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The practice of using the Greek alphabet in the naming of tropical cyclones in excess of the standard list of names is no more.

This was disclosed today by the Acting Director of the Meteorological (MET) Office, Sabu Best, as he reviewed last year’s hurricane season and gave predictions for 2021, during the Department of Emergency Management’s (DEM), 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season press conference at Warrens, St. Michael.

Mr. Best, in explaining the move, said 2020 was an unprecedented year with a number of major hurricanes that led to the use of the Greek alphabet letters as a supplemental, when the standard naming system was used up. 

Singling out Hurricane Iota, in particular, which caused a lot of destruction in the South Western Caribbean/Central America, he noted that this actually caused this and another Greek letter to be retired.

“It was decided by the Hurricane Committee this year to replace the Greek alphabet with a supplemental list. And so, although it may seem confusing that we have two sets of names, when the first list of names is exhausted, we will just start back from letter ‘A’, once again. And, the sex of the cycle will change over; this year it starts with a female, the supplemental with a male name and it goes on and on right down to ‘Will’.”

Emphasising that there won’t be a Greek alphabet list anymore, Mr. Best added, if this supplemental list becomes exhausted, the players would probably resort to another list.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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