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

Name a hurricane Sunny. Lol

Name a hurricane Sunny. Lol

Sherry would be a great name

Sherry would be a great name for a hurricane

hurricane name

I think Saphira would be a great hurricane name.

hurricane

hurricane anna for next year please!

Biff

Biff

Name a hurricane

Kayleigh is unique and i would love it to be a hurricane name

2018 hurricane or tropical

Lore as in Laurie
Virginia
Zea as in ZeeA

Names

Suggestive names for 2018
Jameson
Judy

2018 Hurricane Names

I would love to see a hurricane in 2018 called
Hurricane Tamica
Hurricane Jayden

Hurricane 2018 suggested name

Leanne

Hurricanes

I recommend hurricane Kaylee-as in
Kay-lee it's a female name.

Hurricane names

Some name for future:
Kristi
Cody
Harley- girl name
Brody
Willow
Bodhi
Trigger
Jax
Axle
Baylin

Name

Can you name one hurricane mischa or hurricane Aaron

Name for a tropical storm

I would like a hurricane to be called hurricane catriona or hurricane jessica i am only 13 years old

Name for tropical storm

A great name for the storm would be Mishka or Londyn

Storm Name

I would like to suggest Dia as an alternate name. She is a force to be reckoned with. Besides she wants one named after her.

Never seen one with this spelling

Like to see this in my life time lol
4ykpg

Name for storms

I want to nominate my name Hardenia to the list of storms, by the way name is female.

Possible Names for Hurricanes 2018

A great name for a tropical storm would be Carley.

Name for a Hurricane

Ellin

Tropical or Hurricane Names

how about naming one of the storms or hurricanes: Elizabeth, Liz

names for storm season

I have never seen my name Janet for a storm name. I would love to see it in the near future, since i am 53yrs old now. ????

Janet was a storm in 1955.

Janet was a storm in 1955. The name was retired.

Hurricane name 2018

Hurricane Keri!

Hurricane Lorraine

I would like to nominate my name Lorraine for a hurricane in 2018 Hurricane Lorraine so I can take them by storm.

Name a hurricane

Please name a hurricane "Sonya" for me ⛱

Please put kiera down it is

Please put kiera down it is my dream i what to be a name for one i qm only 6

I'm suggesting my name,

I'm suggesting my name, Leilani, for 2018. Thank You

Like my name to be used

If you choose not to use it please use Cohen he is my grandson with autism thank you

Suggest a name for 2018

How about Leah for 2018 Atlantic Names!

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