With Storm Ewan following quickly on from Storm Doris last week, it begs the question: Why give them names?
The Met Office has started giving storms names in order to raise awareness about storms heading towards Britain so that the authorities, agencies and general public can be more prepared for them and to fight potential flood damage caused by heavy rain and other risks caused by extreme weather conditions such as high winds and ice.
The Met Office’s public weather services head Derek Ryall said: ”By naming storms more people were made aware of the approaching threat of severe weather and were able to act on this information.”
How do storms get their names?
As with hurricanes, storms are given names in alphabetical order from a list of names for the year’s storm season.
So far, the 2016/17 Winter has brought the UK, Storm Angus, Storm Barbara, Storm Connor and the most recent ones – Doris and Ewan.
Last week Storm Doris caused travel disruption, damaged buildings and sent debris flying. Ireland suffered the worst from Storm Ewan but conditions were not severe enough in the UK to be categorised as a storm.
Only Storms with the potential to cause a substantial impact are named by the Met Office and Met Eireann.
The Met Office says: “A storm will be named when it has the potential to cause an amber ‘be prepared’ or red ‘take action’ warning.”
The first was named Abigail in November 2015, after members of the public suggested monikers for the “name our storms” project.
Forecasters are now in their second run through the alphabet and ‘up next’ will be Fleur and Gabriel.
Where do the storm names come from?
The list of names for 2016/2017 was compiled from suggestions made by the public as part of the Met Office’s Name Our Storms campaign.
The Met Office does not use names beginning with the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z because this is the storm naming tradition in the North Atlantic. So, names scheduled for storms following ‘Gabriel’ will be: Holly, Ivor, Jacqui, Kamil, Louise, Malcolm, Natalie, Oisin, Penelope, Robert, Susan, Thomas, Valerie and Wilbert.
Looking back to 2015/16
Eleven storms were given names after causing chaos during the last storm season especially around Christmas and New Year time.
Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Henry, Imogen and Jake were the names of the other storms that season.
The name to choose for flood restoration
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