Hurricane Names for the 2020 Hurricane Season

How Are Hurricanes Named? Who Names Them?

April 6, 2020
Hurricane Florence Sept 2018

Hurricane Florence as seen from the International Space Station on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.


See the list of hurricane names for the 2020 season—plus, how hurricanes are named and a little history about naming hurricanes. Is your name or the name of a loved one listed this year?

How Are Hurricanes Named?

Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina… The names of hurricanes often carry a lot of history. 

  • Hurricane names are chosen by the World Meteorological Organization. There are six lists of names for Atlantic and Pacific storms. Every six years, the lists of names repeat (not including the names of particularly destructive storms, which are retired).
  • Names are assigned to storms in alphabetical order as the storms occur. In other words, the first storm of the season will be given the first name on the list (starting with the letter A), the next will be given the name starting with B, and so on. If more storms occur in one season than there are names on the list, the newest storms are named after the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc.).
  • Tropical storms are given names when they display a rotating circulation pattern and wind speeds of 39 miles per hour (63 kilometers per hour). A tropical storm develops into a hurricane when wind speeds reach 74 mph (119 kph).
  • The names of especially destructive hurricanes are usually retired. See a list of retired tropical storm and hurricane names here.

Hurricane Names for the 2020 Hurricane Season

Hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30 each year. See the most recent Hurricane Season Forecast and Updates here.

For the 2020 hurricane season, the list of names from 2014 will be used again. Then, they will be repeated during the year 2026. 

These lists include storms in both the Atlantic Basin (Gulf and East Coast hurricanes) and Eastern North-Pacific (Pacific Island and West Coast hurricanes). 

Hurricane Names for 2020

Atlantic Tropical (and Subtropical) Storm Names for 2020

Arthur Hanna Omar
Bertha Isaias Paulette
Cristobal Josephine Rene
Dolly Kyle Sally
Edouard Laura Teddy
Fay Marco Vicky
Gonzalo Nana Wilfred

Eastern North-Pacific Tropical (and Subtropical) Storm Names for 2020

Amanda Iselle Rachel
Boris Julio Simon
Cristina Karina Trudy
Douglas Lowell Vance
Elida Marie Winnie
Fausto Norbert Xavier
Genevieve Odalys Yolanda
Hernan Polo Zeke

Note: Hurricanes are given names according to a formal system that is managed by the World Meteorological Organization, not The Old Farmer’s Almanac!  We appreciate your requests, however, we have no influence over the names selected. 

The History of Naming Hurricanes

  • Native Americans called these storms hurakons, after “a great spirit who commanded the east wind.” Spanish explorers adopted the word and then began giving hurricanes the names of patron saints on whose feast days the storms occurred. Later, hurricanes were identified by their longitude and latitude.
  • In 1950, a formal practice for storm naming was first developed by the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, storms were named according to a phonetic alphabet (e.g., Able, Baker, Charlie) and the names used were the same for each hurricane season; in other words, the first hurricane of a season was always named “Able,” the second “Baker,” and so on.
  • In 1953, to avoid the repetitive use of names, the system was revised so that storms would be given female names. This mimicked the habits of old naval meteorologists, who named the storms after their wife or girlfriend, much the way ships at sea were named after women. A weatherman in Australia is credited with being the first person to give a tropical storm a female name.
  • In 1979, the system was revised again to include both female and male names.
  • Today, naming hurricanes is the responsibility of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which revises the lists each year. However, the WMO doesn’t only name hurricanes that occur off the shores of North America; they maintain lists for all areas affected by tropical cyclones. See hurricane names for other regions here.

Learn More About Hurricanes

For more information on hurricanes, see:

Also check out our series on some of the worst hurricanes to ever hit the US: The Worst Hurricanes in US History (Part I)

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment


Can you name a hurricane Ammon

Naming a Hurricane

Can you name one Hurricane Shnu? (say SM-uoo)


Hi, I will love to have a hurricane or any kind of storm name after me.


Hurricane Zelda haha

Will Zelda come save us during hurricane Zelda. Lol.

Hurricane Naming:

How about naming a hurricane:
It's a typographical error on my birth certificate.

Name storms

Good names for storms .and hurricanes craig . nikita .tyler . corrie .Jonathan

Hurricane Walaka's Name

What is the origin of this name? I guess the Central Northern Pacific has its own list of names? I would think we would be on letter "A" not "W". Thank you.

please name hurricanes after

please name hurricanes after these people. Shannan, kevin, carlin, tynazha, mycah. Thank you

Hurricane name

My daughter Telfea has a rare name. A Hurricane with her name will not be forgotten.

latin alphabet

You say there are 26 names , each after a letter in the Latin alphabet (which may I add only had 23 letters lol) … but these lists show 24 names and 21 names for the Eastern North Pacific and Atlantic Tropical storms respectively... may you indulge me with the reasoning as to why neither of these lists have 26 names... I am so confused right now...
And question #2:
If the season doesn't have all the storms, do they start off at the beginning of the list the next season or continue on where they left off the previous season .



The Editors's picture

Sorry, we misspoke! Neither list has 26 names: The Atlantic lists have a name for every letter except Q, U, X, Y, and Z, while the Pacific lists have a name for every letter except U. Because the World Meteorological Organization makes the lists, we can only imagine that they exclude these letters due to the lack of unique names. (In fact, only two names are used for Y and Z, alternating every other year.)

By “Latin alphabet” we mean the modern “Latin” or “Roman” alphabet used for English.

If a storm occurs outside of hurricane season, its name is determined by the calendar year it occurred in: If the storm occurs in December, it will be named from the previous season’s list. If it occurs in January or later, it will be named from the upcoming season’s list.

Gordon vs Florence

If my memory is correct, we had Hurricane Gordon a few weeks ago. Why did “G” come before “F”?

Why hurricane "G" Gordon before "F" Florence??

The Editors's picture

That’s a great question. According to NOAA, Florence was named on September 2nd and Gordon on September 3rd. This probably means that Florence was just a storm and developed more slowly than Gordon, so “he” got the attention first. Hope that helps!

Hurricane Names

Has a Hurricane ever been named Laura, Lori or Lora?


The Editors's picture

Yes! Laura was the name of a tropical storm in 1971 and also in 2008. The World Meteorological Organization has six lists of storm names which are recycled every six years, and Laura is on that list every six years!

Hurricane names (historical)

Has the name Jill ever been used for a hurricane?

Hurricane names: Jill?

The Editors's picture

Jill was on the list in 1953, 1954, and 1976.  However, the hurricane season never made it to “J” so it was never used.

Today, as mentioned above, hurricane names are selected by the World Meteorological Organization. There are six lists of names for Atlantic and Pacific storms. Every six years, the lists of names repeat. Jill is not on this repeating list.

The only possibility of Jill being used again is if a female “J” name is retired. Hurricane names are retired from the list if the hurricane is especially destructive/deadly. See the list of retired hurricane names here:

Hurricane names

Rhea, Hallie, Brontë, Damon, Corban, Constance ❤️ Penelope

Missing Names

Why are there no names on the Atlantic list starting with Q, U, X, Y, or Z? Some of these are included in the Pacific list. I remember that in 2005 there were so many storms that they ran out of names, but I have forgotten what they did to make up for the shortfall.

Hurricane Names

We have to admit that we don’t know exactly why the World Meteorological Organization stops at W with their Atlantic names—we can only guess that it has something to do with the historical rarity of having more than 21 named hurricanes in one season in the Atlantic. In the event of more than 21 storms, the hurricanes are named with the Greek alphabet. This is what happened in 2005: after Wilma, the storms were named Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta.

Why isn't their a hurricane

Why isn't their a hurricane name shannon

Name Hurricane

Of course please add these for Hurricane's to be named.
Hurricane Lavonna
Hurricane Jubal
Hurricane Willow
Thank You

Hurricane Shannon

Hurricane Shannon

Hurricane Names

Please name a hurricane Coleen! Please!!

Name of hurricane

Please name one Trinity, Metz,Leif, Evers. ( these are my children’s name)Thank you. I love weather , follow it great deal of the day on my computer. I’m 66yr old retired nurse but have always loved weather.

Name of hurricane

Please name one Trinity, Metz,Leif, Evers. ( these are my children’s name)Thank you. I love weather , follow it great deal of the day on my computer. I’m 66yr old retired nurse but have always loved weather.

Name of hurricane

Please name one Trinity, Metz,Leif, Evers. ( these are my children’s name)Thank you. I love weather , follow it great deal of the day on my computer. I’m 66yr old retired nurse but have always loved weather.

being named after a harricane

kennetha ,Lilly, Theodore, Caiden, juanita


Glad to see the name Daniel included for Eastern North Pacific tropical and subtropical storms for 2018. Someone at the weather bureau has a sense of humor.