What happens when meteorologists run out of storm names in a hurricane season? Do they recycle old names, use the Greek alphabet, use the NATO alphabet or start next year's list? If all names are used in a single season's list, meteorologists turn to the Greek alphabet.
That happened this year after Tropical Storm Wilfred, the last name on the list, formed on September 18th. Two more storms followed, Alpha and Beta.
The second of which flooded Houston and other parts of southeast Texas this week. The need for Greek names doesn't come up often.
Since storms started getting names in 1953, meteorologists only ran out one other time in 2005 when there were a record 27 named storms. This year there've been 23 so far. That includes Tropical Storm Paulette which is said to be back from the dead like a zombie.
It hit Bermuda as a Category 1 hurricane and strengthened to Category 2 status on September 14th but then it lost strength and speed over the Atlantic and wondered as a low-pressure system until Monday. That's when Paulette regained strength and its tropical storm status a few hundred miles from the Azores Islands. A CNN meteorologist says zombie storms are rare but they have happened before.