2019 Atlantic tropical storm names

These 21 names will be assigned to any tropical storms that develop in the Atlantic Ocean in 2019.

(NOTE: This story was originally published in June 2017 and revised in September 2019.)

When a tropical storm develops in the Atlantic Ocean, it will get one of these 126 names depending on the year and the order it forms.

During the height of hurricane season, it's fairly common have more than one storm churning at a time. Sometimes there are several active at once. Having a short, memorable way to distinguish the systems makes it easier to communicate the forecast.

How the naming list works:

The very first naming schemes in the late 1940s and early 1950s used a military phonetic alphabet to distinguish storms. From 1953 to 1978, tropical systems in the Atlantic were only given female names chosen by U.S. forecasters. By the late 1960s, women's organizations spoke out against having exclusively female names attached to disasters, but it took about a decade for the policy to change.

In 1979, the National Hurricane Center started naming Atlantic storms with the current system of six rotating lists containing 21 alternating male and female names. There are separate lists and names for hurricanes in the Eastern Pacific, while other agencies manage lists elsewhere in the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean.

The Atlantic list includes English, Spanish and French names to reflect the languages that are most common across North America, Central America and the Caribbean islands.

There aren't any names assigned for the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z. Names starting with those letters are scarce, and they usually aren't necessary. The average season has 12 named tropical storms, so many of the names toward the end of these lists have only been used once or twice in the last four decades. Most of the names starting with V and W haven't been needed at all.

It's quite rare to have a hurricane season with more than 21 storms. In that case, storms are named after letters of the Greek alphabet. The first and only time that has happened was 2005, when Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta came into use.

We'll never see another Hurricane Katrina, Andrew, Isabel or Harvey again, because names associated with high-impact storms are retired by a committee of the World Meteorological Organization during an annual spring meeting.

Matthew and Otto were stricken because of the damage those hurricanes caused in the 2016 season, and will be replaced with Martin and Owen in 2022.

After the devastating 2017 season, Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate were discarded in favor of Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel.

The worst storms of 2018, Florence and Michael, will never appear again either. In 2024, we'll see Francine and Milton on the list instead.

Scroll down to see if your name is on the list, and when it might come up again.

2019

(Storm descriptions as of Sept. 9, 2019)

Andrea - subtropical storm in May

Barry - hurricane that struck Louisiana in July

Chantal - tropical storm in August

Dorian - formed in August, struck the Bahamas, the Southeast U.S. and eastern Canada in September

Erin - tropical storm in August

Fernand - tropical storm in September

Gabrielle - tropical storm in September

Humberto

Imelda (replaces Ingrid from 2013)

Jerry

Karen

Lorenzo

Melissa

Nestor

Olga

Pablo

Rebekah

Sebastien

Tanya

Van

Wendy

2020

Arthur

Bertha

Cristobal

Dolly

Edouard

Fay

Gonzalo

Hanna

Isaias

Josephine

Kyle

Laura

Marco

Nana

Omar

Paulette

Rene

Sally

Teddy

Vicky

Wilfred

2021

Ana

Bill

Claudette

Danny

Elisa (replaces Erika from 2015)

Fred

Grace

Henri

Ida

Julian (replaces Joaquin from 2015)

Kate

Larry

Mindy

Nicholas

Odette

Peter

Rose

Sam

Teresa

Victor

Wanda

2022

Alex

Bonnie

Colin

Danielle

Earl

Fiona

Gaston

Hermine

Ian

Julia

Karl

Lisa

Martin (replaces Matthew from 2016)

Nicole

Owen (replaces Otto from 2016)

Paula

Richard

Shary

Tobias

Virginie

Walter

2023

Arlene

Bret

Cindy

Don

Emily

Franklin

Gert

Harold (replaces Harvey from 2017)

Idalia (replaces Irma from 2017)

Jose

Katia

Lee

Margot (replaces Maria from 2017)

Nigel (replaces Nate from 2017)

Ophelia

Philippe

Rina

Sean

Tammy

Vince

Whitney

2024

Alberto

Beryl

Chris

Debby

Ernesto

Francine (replaces Florence from 2018)

Gordon

Helene

Isaac

Joyce

Kirk

Leslie

Milton (replaces Michael from 2018)

Nadine

Oscar

Patty

Rafael

Sara

Tony

Valerie

William

Retired names

(in alphabetical order with the year they occurred)

Agnes (1972)

Alicia (1983)

Allen (1980)

Allison (2001)

Andrew (1992)

Anita (1977)

Audrey (1957)

Betsy (1965)

Beulah (1967)

Bob (1991)

Camille (1969)

Carla (1961)

Carmen (1974)

Carol (1954)

Celia (1970)

Cesar (1996)

Charley (2004)

Cleo (1964)

Connie (1955)

David (1979)

Dean (2007)

Dennis (2005)

Diana (1990)

Diane (1955)

Donna (1960)

Dora (1964)

Edna (1954, but removed after another use in 1968)

Elena (1985)

Eloise (1975)

Erika (2015)

Fabian (2003)

Felix (2007)

Fifi (1974)

Flora (1963)

Florence (2018)

Floyd (1999)

Fran (1996)

Frances (2004)

Frederic (1979)

Georges (1998)

Gilbert (1988)

Gloria (1985)

Greta (1978)

Gustav (2008)

Harvey (2017)

Hattie (1961)

Hazel (1954)

Hilda (1964)

Hortense (1996)

Hugo (1989)

Igor (2010)

Ike (2008)

Inez (1966)

Ingrid (2013)

Ione (1955)

Irene (2011)

Iris (2001)

Irma (2017)

Isabel (2003)

Isidore (2002)

Ivan (2004)

Janet (1955)

Jeanne (2004)

Joan (1988)

Joaquin (2015)

Juan (2003)

Katrina (2005)

Keith (2000)

Klaus (1990)

Lenny (1999)

Lili (2002)

Luis (1995)

Maria (2017)

Marilyn (1995)

Matthew (2016)

Michael (2018)

Michelle (2001)

Mitch (1998)

Nate (2017)

Noel (2007)

Opal (1995)

Otto (2016)

Paloma (2008)

Rita (2005)

Roxanne (1995)

Sandy (2012)

Stan (2005)

Tomas (2010)

Wilma (2005)

Check Richmond.com/weather for John Boyer's videos and updates as the forecast evolves. Contact him at JBoyer@timesdispatch.com or (804) 649-6209, and follow him on Twitter, @boyerweather.

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