WASHINGTON, KOMPAS.com – ‘Alpha’ and ‘Beta’ are the newest Greek names to be used this hurricane season as forecasters are short of traditional names.
The record-breaking “crazy” Atlantic storms this year not only forced a European remake, but subtropical storm Alpha promptly sloshed ashore in Portugal.
But wait there's more. The busy Atlantic is beta testing the Greek alphabet as Beta formed late Friday afternoon.
This is only the second time National Hurricane Center forecasters have had to pull out the Greek alphabet for names, with the last time being 2005.
Tropical Storm Wilfred, the last of traditional names, officially formed little more than an hour before Alpha, prompting the hurricane center to tweet “get out the Greek alphabet”.
And they quickly had to use it again, when a tropical depression in the western Gulf of Mexico became Tropical Storm Beta. That's three storms forming in about six hours.
“It’s crazy,” said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy. “This is just off the charts. We’ve made a joke of breaking records.”
Wilfred, Alpha and Beta set records for earliest 21st, 22nd and 23rd named Atlantic storms, beating 2005 by a few weeks.
Alpha is odd in another way. It's misplaced into an area where storms don't generally brew.