With Tropical Storm Wilma swirling over the Caribbean, the number of named storms has hit 21 this year, tying 1933 for the worst year on record since records have been kept since 1851. Of the 21 named storms that have formed since the season began June 1st, 11 have become hurricanes, including five major hurricanes. This is far above the seasonal average of 10 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. (Storms get names when they hit particular levels of intensity so they can be more easily remembered and/or referred to.)
One more hurricane and 2005 will tie the record set in 1969.
Wilma also represents the last of the names the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center on the list for naming storms issued at the beginning of the year. At the beginning of the year, Any new storms will be named after letters in the Greek alphabet.
While it is unclear whether global warming has created more storms, many experts say it has made the storms that occur more intense.