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Alberto to William: Meet the 21 names of the 2024 hurricane season

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Let the memes blow in.

The names for the upcoming 2024 hurricane season have been revealed. From Alberto to William, the 21 names are poised to enter the lexicon of weather enthusiasts and late-night TV hosts alike.

With the exception of two new names, this year’s list is the same as the 2018 lineup. That’s because the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) maintains six lists of names for tropical storms that churn up in the Atlantic Ocean, and they cycle through the years so that each list shows up every six years.

Dropping off the list from 2018 were Florence and Michael, due to the devastation wrought by those hurricanes. For the same reason, you won’t again see a hurricane named Sandy, Katrina, Gloria or Andrew. Any nation impacted by a severe hurricane can lobby the WMO to get the storm’s name retired.

New on the list this go around are Francine and Milton.

Here’s the full list for the 2024 hurricane season:

  1. Alberto
  2. Beryl
  3. Chris
  4. Debby
  5. Ernesto
  6. Francine
  7. Gordon
  8. Helene
  9. Isaac
  10. Joyce
  11. Kirk
  12. Leslie
  13. Milton
  14. Nadine
  15. Oscar
  16. Patty
  17. Rafael
  18. Sara
  19. Tony
  20. Valerie
  21. William

In 1950, when tropical storms and hurricanes began getting names, the phonetic alphabet — Able, Baker, Charlie, etc. — was used. That lasted until 1953, when women’s names were substituted.

In 1979, the WMO switched to lists of names that also included men’s names.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic this year. It’s expected that there will be between 17-25 named storms — 8 to 13 are anticipated to be hurricanes. The yearly average is 14 named storms.

While the potential devastation of a hurricane is no laughing matter, gallows humor often ensues when it comes to storm names.

Consider how actor Matthew McConaughey got swallowed up in the hype of Hurricane Matthew in 2016…

…or in October 2018, when social media trolled Hurricane Michael.

Top image: Hurricane Idalia on the left and Hurricane Franklin at right (Aug. 31, 2023, NOAA Satellite and Information Service).

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