Exploring Storm Names

Over the Easter weekend Storm Katie hit us with winds of 74mph recorded by Jersey Met, causing some flights and the ferry services to be cancelled. Around 30 trees led to many road closures and Jersey Fire and Rescue Service were kept busy attending multiple incidents during the night.

Storm Katie, Jersey

Fallen Tree (photo copyright Sue Bartlett)

Storm Katie, Jersey

Tree uprooted in Jersey (photo copyright Sue Bartlett)

The storm was the topic of conversation but not for the obvious reasons but as to why it was so named. Us Brits love discussing the weather and the pilot scheme introduced last autumn by the Met Office giving storms a name has generated a deluge of conversations.

Storm Katie, Jersey

Reasons behind the names

The Met Office will name a storm when medium or high impact from strong winds are forecast, low impact doesn’t meet the criteria for a name.

According to the Met Office, ‘It is to aid the communication of approaching severe weather through media partners and government agencies,’

Giving each storm a name has raised awareness of severe weather and helped the public to prepare and avoid danger.’

Name our storm campaign

In September last year the Met Office along with Met Éireann asked the public to send in via social media their suggestions for names for the ‘Name our Storms’ pilot project, thousands were received and in October the list was announced.

The campaign generated a storm of discussion on twitter using the hashtags #nameourstorm and #stormwithnoname

Local suggestions that didn’t make the list, on the 8th September @The OnlyGuru suggested hurricanehiggins

Storm Names

As is the case in the US the list runs through the alphabet alternating between male and female first names. Abigail kicked off bringing severe gales to Scotland with Storm Barney bringing disruption to power supplies in November, and Clodagh, Desmond, Eva and Frank following. Then came Gertrude, the first of the New Year, Storm Henry visited at the start of February with Storm Imogen coinciding with high tides in Jersey not far behind. March saw Storm Jake hit Britain bringing high winds and snow with this weekend’s Katie bringing us up to date. Lawrence, Mary and Nigel are next in line all probably putting in an appearance before the spring is out.

Q,U,X,Y and Z will not be used. Names that have previously been associated with devastating weather like Hurricane Katrina won’t be used.

See the full list of expected storms through 2015/2016 season

UK and US Storm names

If a storm is the tail end of a tropical storm or a hurricane coming from the Atlantic, it will keep it’s US name as it is already referred to, for example “Ex-hurricane X”

For local up to date weather news follow ITV’s weather girl Sophia Bird on Twitter @SophiaWeather

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