Hurricane Names for the 2021 Hurricane Season

How Are Hurricanes Named? Who Names Them?

June 1, 2021
Hurricane Florence Sept 2018

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

NASA

Here are the 2021 hurricane names for both the Atlantic and the Eastern North-Pacific. Is your name or the name of a loved one listed this year? Find out. Plus, learn how hurricanes are named and see the interesting history behind naming storms.

Who Names Hurricanes?

Hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and ends on November 30 each year. The lists of hurricane names for each season are chosen by the World Meteorological Organization (not The Old Farmer’s Almanac). There are six lists of names for Atlantic and Pacific storms, which are cycled through every six years.

The lists have been maintained since 1953 (originally by the National Hurricane Center). For the 2021 hurricane season, the list of names from 2015 is being used again, so don’t be surprised if some sound familiar. Those that are not retired from the list this year will be used again in the 2027 season. 

Note: The names of especially destructive hurricanes are usually retired and not used again. See a list of retired tropical storm and hurricane names here.

Hurricane Names for the 2021 Hurricane Season

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

Note: Tropical storms are given names as soon as 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 traditional names listed above are 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. An average year, based on 1981 to 2010 data, will result in 12 named storms, including six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Hurricane Names for the 2021 Hurricane Season

Atlantic Tropical (and Subtropical) Storm Names for 2021

Ana Henri Odette
Bill Ida Peter
Claudette Julian Rose
Danny Kate Sam
Elsa Larry Teresa
Fred Mindy Victor
Grace Nicholas Wanda

Eastern North-Pacific Tropical (and Subtropical) Storm Names for 2021

Andres Ignacio Rick
Blanca Jimena Sandra
Carlos Kevin Terry
Dolores Linda Vivian
Enrique Marty Waldo
Felicia Nora Xina
Guillermo Olaf York
Hilda Pamela Zelda

What Happens If We Run Out of Names?

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record—we ran through the entire alphabetical list of names (and then some)! This happens very rarely (it has only happened once before, in 2005), but seems likely to become more common. What happens when it does?

If more storms occur in one season than there are names on the list, the newest storms have traditionally been named after the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc.). However, this will no longer be the case starting in 2021. Instead of the Greek alphabet, a list of supplemental names will be used. Like names from the regular annual lists, supplemental names can be retired and replaced if the storms are deemed to be significantly impactful.

The WMO decided to discontinue use of the Greek alphabet for several reasons, including:

  • Using the Greek names was such a rare occurrence that it distracted from more important news about the hurricanes themselves. 
  • When translated into different languages of the region, the Greek names led to confusion and inconsistencies.
  • The names Eta and Iota were retired after the 2020 season and there had not been a plan for replacing retired Greek names. 

So, any extra storms will now be named from the supplemental names lists shown below. 

Supplemental Hurricane Names

Atlantic Storm Names

Adria Heath Orlanda
Braylen Isla Pax
Caridad Jacobus Ronin
Deshawn Kenzie Sophie
Emery Lucio Tayshaun
Foster Makayla Viviana
Gemma Nolan Will

Eastern North-Pacific Storm Names

Aidan Izzy Rey
Bruna Jacinta Skylar
Carmelo Kenito Teo
Daniella Luna Violeta
Esteban Marina Wilfredo
Flor Nancy Xinia
Gerardo Ovidio Yariel
Hedda Pia Zoe

The History of Naming Hurricanes

  • Native Americans called these destructive 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 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)

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Reader Comments

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Hurricane Names

I have two hurricane names that would work. Abigail and Jessica.

Hurricane retired names if ANY..

Atlantic Hurricane names will be

Grace, and Ida,

Pacific hurricane names will retired

Maybe Nora or Olaf (caused damaged in flood and mudslides, in Mexico)

Naming Hurricanes

There are more than 6 names for each letter in the Alphabet, even in my 1984 Webster Dictionary. So why do they only use 6? And why not U (10 female/6 male), Y (9f/1m), Z (14f/5m), then use Q (0f/3m) and X (1f/1m) when a name is retired. I am sure there are even more names now that start with U, Y, Z, Q and X.

Hurricane names

They should start using African American names or international names from countries in the hurricane paths

Hurricane Names

I doubt I will ever hear a Hurricane named Denise, but whew knows maybe next year.

Origin of Hurricane Isaias

I learned today that Isaias is Latin. But for what or whom? Lots of people think it should read Isaiah. Is there a Latin word for the Hebrew name of Isaiah? Inquiring minds need to know. Never studied Latin. Just 2 yrs of French n high school & Spanish in elementary school.

Some hurricane names

Olivia, Caesar, Domino, Fred, Maxine, Terry, Tricia.
And why are there more names for Pacific hurricanes if most hurricanes are Atlantic?

Hurricane Names

who does name the hurricanes? whoever it is does a terrible job. How do you pronounce ISAIAS???????? and I agree is it such a hard, complicated job that instead of a new list every year, we just recirculate one of six lists? sound just plain lazy to me.
and why do pacific hurricanes have a "Z" name but the atlantic does not

Hurricane names

I think we should stop giving them Proper People names and switch to flowers or animals or even insects. “We ask that everyone evacuate the area as Hurricane Black Widow comes ashore~NWS”... it could perhaps help hammer home the severity. Unless, of course a cat 5 storm named “Ladybug” is headed our way. My point: Sometimes it’s hard to be scared of a storm which shares the name of a person you know that wouldn’t hurt a soul, much less destroy an entire region.

Hurricane neefs a name

Jedediah

PEOPLE REQUESTING HURRICANE NAMES

Unfortunately, there are 6 lists of names that they use in a rotation. Those will be the names always unless they retire a name due to it being a destructive storm.
I think it's absurd that they can't make a new list every year! Some of those names are very unfortunate!

Naming hurricanes

Why? What is the reason for repeating hurricane names every 6 years? There are millions of names & much better names than on those 6 lists. Those of us that live in hurricane zones don't need to hear the same names over and over. We want to forget them...not keep hearing reminders of the past! PICK NEW NAMES EVERY YEAR... not that hard!

Katrina was a Monster

I realize that Farmer's Almanac has NOTHING to do with the storms being named. That being said, I noticed the upcoming names for the 2020 season includes KATRINA. Is the World Meteorological Association actually so insensitive as to name ANOTHER hurricane after the Mon-stress that destroyed the Gulf region? The name Katrina should be retired GLOBALLY...PERIOD!

Hurricane Katrina

The Editors's picture

Note that the name listed for 2020 is actually Karina! “Katrina” has indeed been retired. 

hurricane

Can you name a hurricane Ammon

Naming a Hurricane

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

Storm

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

Sincerely
Yamel

Hurricane Zelda haha

Will Zelda come save us during hurricane Zelda. Lol.

Hurricane Naming:

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

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.

Hurricane Walaka

The Editors's picture

Correct! Different parts of the Pacific have their own lists. Here’s more information from NOAAhttp://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/pages/names.php#central 

As far as the name “Walaka” goes, it seems to be of Hawaiian origin.

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 .

thanks!

Alphabet

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?

Laura

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!

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