Since 1953 across the US and many parts of the world the naming of hurricanes and storms has become common practice, however here in the UK we have never named a storm, until now. But why would we give a storm a name? Apparently according to the experts allocating a name to a weather event makes it easier to follow and more simple to reference on social media – Which in turn ensures people protect themselves.
Derrick Ryall, head of the public weather service at the Met Office advised: "We have seen how naming storms elsewhere in the world raises awareness of severe weather before it strikes. We hope that naming storms in line with the official severe weather warnings here will do the same and ensure everyone can keep themselves, their property and businesses safe and protected at times of severe weather."
Storms will be named when deemed potentially able to cause "substantial" impact on the UK/Ireland. A few weeks back Abigail swept across the north of Scotland; then Barney targeted England and Wales with damaging gusts of "short, sharp bursts" up to 85mph, as well as further heavy rain. Yellow "be aware" warnings for wind were issued for Wales, along with southern, central and eastern England.
The letters Q, U, X, Y and Z will not be used thus ensuring storm names affecting the UK and Ireland are in line with the US National Hurricane Centre naming convention. It is interesting to note that storm names reflect the culture of the region; In the Atlantic region, names sound Hispanic or American and that's why here in the UK, we can expect storms Gertrude, Nigel, Phil and Steve.
Image Source: Telegraph