Hurricane Names for the 2021 Hurricane Season

How Are Hurricanes Named? Who Names Them?

March 30, 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 Altantic Basin 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 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! This has only happened one other time in history. So what happens? Time to go Greek!

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.).

  • The 2005 hurricane season (which brought deadly Katrina, Rita, and Wilma) was the only other time the Greek alphabet has been brought out, and there were six storms: Tropical Storm Alpha, Hurricane Beta, Tropical Storm Gamma, Tropical Storm Delta, Hurricane Epsilon and Tropical Storm Zeta. 
  • In 2020, the season was so active that we started using the Greek alphabet on September 18 with Subtropical Storm Alpha—the 22nd named storm of the season. By the end of the season, there were 30 named storms, including nine storms using the Greek alphabet. The last storm, Hurricane Iota, attaining Category 5 strength on the Saffir–Simpson scale.

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 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

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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

The Editors's picture

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

Daniel

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.

Hurricanes

Not that I a disaster but I would like to see my name on the list for hurricanes will that ever happen?

Haha funny

The hurricanes are not very funny, but I realized one of the hurricanes name is Hugo and that’s the same name as my mothers ex boyfriend he didn’t want a full relationship he only liked dating married woman

Incorrect spelling.

I have known a few people in my 74 years with the name Aleta...every single one spelled their name with only one L...Aleta. Even Prince Valiant's wife's name was Aleta with one L.

Some names are spelled wrong...

The Atlantic 2018 list is
Alberto, Beryl, Chris,
Debby, Ernesto, Florence,
Gordon, Helene, Isaac,
Joyce, Kirk, Leslie,
Michael, Nadine, Oscar,
Patty, Rafael, Sara,
Tony, Valerie, William.

I appreciated my name being

I appreciated my name being used for a hurricane

Please name one Renee.

Please name one Renee.

Rene is on a list.

Close enough to Renee, Rene is on the list for 2020, although it is rare we go that far down the list.

Hurricane request name

I want one Hurricane to be named renesmee and another one named mykala

Hurricane james

Please name one James too

My name is awesome

My name is extraordinary. I'm a good father to a family of 3 and a loving wife.My name is built of structure and success. Plz accept my name as a hurricane name next season thank you!

hurricane names

How do you skip "Q" in the list?

Hurricane names: No Q or U or XYZ!

The Editors's picture

You’re correct! According to NOAA, it’s too difficult to keep cycling names beginning with X,Y, Z, Q and U, so the official slates of hurricane names (one for the Atlantic, one for the Pacific) have 21 names each.

Hurricane and storm names

Well I've never heard the nam umma, pepsi, Ezra, NYHREE (my dogs name), ,Xena, Yolanda, Zorba? Many more names in the BIBLE not to notion ancient Ireland , Greece Italy Uganda Africa Hawaii, Canada! Not to mention the all beautiful NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS??!!! Please make the names storms a fun and historic way for our school children to learn some REAL FACTS OF HISTORY!
Thank you, Mary and Nyhree
Long Island, N.Y.

Name for hurricane

A good rare name for a hurricane. Hurricane: RETZE

Hurricane names

Reese is a great name and it is very unique but it has never been used it would mean a lot to me if it was chosen for 2018 or any other year!!!
#Reesefor2018

hurricanse name

I do no recall a hurricane named Marina at all.

Stormy relationship

Coincidence? My ex-husband's and my name both occur in the list of Eastern North-Pacific Tropical (and Subtropical) storm names for 2017

Hurricane Name

All the hurricanes I've been through, still never
One named Myrtle.

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