The exceptionally busy 2020 Atlantic hurricane season officially exhausted the English alphabet over the weekend as three systems became named tropical storms in the span of six hours and officials turned to the Greek alphabet.
Tropical Storm Wilfred formed in the eastern Atlantic, Subtropical Storm Alpha hit Portugal and Spain over the weekend, according to The New York Times. Tropical Storm Beta was churning just off the Texas coast on Monday morning. Beta was expected to officially make landfall early Tuesday morning, but was moving very slowly and already causing flooding and closures in the Houston and Galveston areas.
2020 is just the second year to require using the Greek alphabet to name Atlantic storms, and it reached that point a full month before 2005. More than two months remain in the traditional hurricane season. Increases in air and ocean temperatures due to climate change, caused by burning fossil fuels, are having wide-ranging effects on hurricane precipitation, intensity, and coastal flooding.