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From Alpha to Omega May 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Ecology.

Each year, forecasters use one of six lists of 21 names to designate tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

The names, which alternate between male and female, are used alphabetically. There are no names starting with Q, U, X, Y and Z. The lists rotate each year, so the 2007 list will be used again in 2013.

If a storm causes a lot of damage or loss of life, the name is retired from the list, and a different name starting with the same letter takes its place in the future. If the entire list is exhausted before the end of the year, forecasters go to the Greek alphabet.

In 2005, six storms, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta, were named after Greek letters.

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