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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Oh i was hoping to pick a

Oh i was hoping to pick a name Kyra in 2015. its would be a blessing to after me and my granddaughter too.

Maybe in the future, there

Maybe in the future, there might a hurricane named after me or just named "Cody". I'll have to wait and see in the future.

The 2013-2014 winter has been

The 2013-2014 winter has been cold and deadly. Last year Mercer County, NJ has 4.93" of snow and this year we're already over 50" with more in the forecast. I just read an article that this cold winter could mean we'll have a cooler summer. But, I was wondering if a winter such as this one has any impact on the hurricane season.

The winter weather doesn't

The Editors's picture

The winter weather doesn't impact the hurricane season. Hurricanes tend to originate over Africa or in the lower Caribbean. However, our meteorologist has predicted this for the summer: Hurricane season will get off to a slow start in June before becoming active in July and especially in September. Expect a major hurricane to make landfall on the central Gulf Coast in July, with several hurricanes and tropical storms threatening Florida and the Atlantic seaboard in September.
This forecast and other weather updates appear in the Almanac Monthly. For more information about that, go to Almanac.com/Monthly.
 

Thank you for the reply.

Thank you for the reply. Living in NJ I have become more mindful of hurricanes after Irene and Sandy. They inspired me to create what I call a "black out kit" with flashlights/lanterns/booklights, a battery-operated radio and clock, small battery operated fans, a first aid kit, games/puzzles/books, and other odds and ends. I also created one for my brother as a gift.

We have a Florida wedding

We have a Florida wedding scheduled in early September should we cancel

I have lived in Florida my

I have lived in Florida my whole life and your good. I've seen a couple storms go for a strange turn but if it did hit us it would only be a little rain. Most of the tropical storms that hit us are nothing compared to some of our normal everyday storms we get. As far as now goes, the storm isn't going to hit us. I do have to warn you though it's been horribly hot here. Congratulations to you and your bride!
I live in South Florida so I can tell you what it's like down here.

I like to learn about

I like to learn about hurricanes

we are planning to visit

we are planning to visit Turks & Caicos in July End 2014. What do you thing the hurricane season will bring at that time/
Thanks you,
Mike

Sorry to disappoint, but we

The Editors's picture

Sorry to disappoint, but we only predict the weather for U.S. and Canada.

Mass mayhem...It's forecasted

Mass mayhem...It's forecasted to be an above average year. I'm out here in the Caribbean.

Why can't you name a

Why can't you name a Hurricane. Baron. Slugger . Donnybrook and native americans names
And will new orleans get snow

The Hawaii honeymoon is for

The Hawaii honeymoon is for 2014!!

Aruba is the best place for

Aruba is the best place for honeymoon. My wife and I was there for our honeymoon and it was great.

We are planning a honeymoon

We are planning a honeymoon in Hawaii the last week of July and first week of August. We want to cruise the islands. What are the predicted and/or likely weather conditions during that period?

Thank you.

You can find our long-range

The Editors's picture

You can find our long-range forecasts in The 2014 Old Farmer's Almanac, now available in bookstores and at newsstands and also online at www.almanac.com/store

I am planning to spend the

I am planning to spend the month of January 2014 near tampa florida what will the temperature be and a cruise for February 2-9,2014 for northern caribbean would you please let me if the weather will good for this cruise and for my first time spending more than a week in Florida
Thank you

Hi, Linda, The hurricane

The Editors's picture

Hi, Linda, The hurricane season is June through November so it won't affect your cruise. In terms of weather, we offer our long-range weather predictions in The 2014 Old Farmer's Almanac, now on sale in bookstores and on our Web site here: http://www.almanac.com/store/a...

I AM PLANNING A WESTERN

I AM PLANNING A WESTERN CARIBBEAN CRUISE FOR SEPT. 11-17, 2011 AND WANT TO KNOW IF I CAN FIND OUT ABOUT HURRICANE SEASON THIS YEAR. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

My son is planning a wedding

My son is planning a wedding in the Dominican Republic in Sept 21 2014, I am worried about Hurricanes before and during that could destroy his day and put everyone in danger

Hi Carol, We only cover North

The Editors's picture

Hi Carol, We only cover North America. In The 2014 Old Farmer's Almanac, September is predicted to be rainier and warmer than normal, with several hurricane threats in September. I'm sorry that it probably not comforting. Hurricanes are challenging to predict as there are many variables. For example, the experts at Colorado State and around the globe predicted a very active season this year and it was a bust. So, it's highly variable.

I got married in August 2001

I got married in August 2001 in Caribbean and it was beautiful, hot nut gorgeous. Pray and check the weather channel.

Just realized it passed. How was it?

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