On December 5, 2012, Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), a public consortium consisting of experts on insurance, risk management, and seasonal climate forecasting at University College London, issued an extended-range forecast predicting an above-average hurricane season. In its report, the organization called for 15.4 (±4.3) named storms, 7.7 (±2.9) hurricanes, 3.4 (±1.6) major hurricanes, and a cumulative Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index of 134, citing the forecast for slower than average trade winds and warmer than average sea surface temperatures. While no value was placed on the number of expected landfalls during the season, TSR stated that the land falling ACE index was expected to be above average.
Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms had been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated through a strict procedure by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The six lists above are used in rotation and re-cycled every six years, i.e., the 2012 list will be used again in 2018. The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity. If that occurs, then at an annual meeting by the WMO committee (called primarily to discuss many other issues) the offending name is stricken from the list and another name is selected to replace it. Several names have been retired since the lists were created.
If a storm forms in the off-season, it will take the next name in the list based on the current calendar date. For example, if a tropical cyclone formed on December 28th, it would take the name from the previous season's list of names. If a storm formed in February, it would be named from the subsequent season's list of names.
In the event that more than twenty-one named tropical cyclones occur in the Atlantic basin in a season, additional storms will take names from the Greek alphabet.