Tropical Storm Franklin continues its slow, erratic path in the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gert is history. The next named storm would be “Harvey.” The 2005 alphabetical list of storm names ends, as always, with the letter "W" - for Wilma this year. It skips “Q” altogether. That's enough names for 23 systems. But what if by some freak of nature – a 24th tropical storm were to form? National Hurricane Center Spokesman Frank LaPoor says that's not likely - but there is a contingency plan in place if the unlikely were to occur.
“Well, we would use the Greek alphabet. But you've got to have some faith in climatology. The long historic record going back to back to 1851. The most storms in any one season were 21 in 1933. I do not expect that we will have numbers approaching that, but if we did we would use the Greek alphabet.”
If a 24th storm were to form then, it would be named "Alpha". Tropical systems get a name when sustained winds reach 39 miles an hour - giving them Tropical Storm status.
Wednesday, 27 July 2005 01:00