Hurricane Names for the 2021 Hurricane Season

How Are Hurricanes Named? Who Names Them?

May 4, 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 (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)

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

2018 Hurricane Names

I suggest the following names:
Joseph
John
Julius
Michael
Tiffani
Evon
Joy
Chenelle
Mecole
Valaysia
Justice
Jocelyn
Cassandra
Edna
Cecil
Corlene
Makayla

I suggest the name Camdyn for

I suggest the name Camdyn for year 2018.

Suggest name Jordyn and Rachel

Storms

Names of Hurricanes

When, if ever, will there be a Hurricane Jim, or Hurricane James?

Names of hurricanes

I'm 70 years old and I've never ever heard the name Gary! Which is a common name at one time. Never heard it!!!

Hurricane

Geneva is a beautiful name and seems appropriate.

Hurricane Name

Name one mackenzie after my bestie

Name a hurricane

I think one should be named Norma.

Name a Hurricane

I think one should be named Glenda or Sissy

Name a hurricane

I suggest a hurricane Name Patsy or Reda

i suggest a storm named

I suggest a storm named joey

I suggest a storm named

I suggest a storm named Octavia.

Storm names

I would like to see my name Nannette but I dont think they ever will..They should make one year names that are unusual but nice sounding names to make it alittle more interesting.

Im freaking out

Im freaking out cause my name is on the hurricane/Tropical storm list Watch out Lee's going to be coming thru

Hurricane Name

I suggest the names Saige and Cody

Tropical storm name

I'd like to see a storm named Tessa or Fay.

Fay

Fay happened in 2014 and will happen again in 2020

Hurricane names

Lylee as in Lilly. Would be a nice name.for a hurricane. Hurricane Lylee!

Name a hurricane Francine

I have never seen a hurricane named Francine.

Should name put Hurricane Joel

I have never seen a hurricane named Joel

hurricane names

I like the name Ophelia for 2017. It is going to be a storm to remember and my prediction to hit the Fl panhandle near Panama City Beach, Fl. The name means HELP so it is a sign to all to get prepared now!

New Hurricane Name

How about name Hurricane in 2018-2019
"HURRICAINE SHARLYN"

Hurricane Name for 2018

There once was a little girl with a curl right in the middle of her forehead and when she was good she was very very good and when she was bad she was horrid..Now being named Nancy we are always full of surprises..It was would be a great name for a hurricane.

Hurricane Name or Tropical Storm

My mom Donletta would be a good name.

Don let ta her come and cause destruction.

Hurricane name

I have never seen a hurricane named Duke

Storm Name

Name one Desiree for 2020!!!

Hurricane names

Why don't the names get switched up from time to time. I mean, start from the bottom to the top. My name is Walter, and the odds of having a W storm is rare!!!!

Walter appears on the list.

Walter appears on the list.

Yaa you are right... Never has their been !!!

walter ! I like your idea !!!!! No H-canes named Tony!!! or my wife's Stacey!!!

Suggest names for 2018

I suggest my name Brunetta has a name for a storm for 2018. It is French and very different, and leave a trend.

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