Winter storm naming in the United Kingdom and Ireland
The United Kingdom's Met Office, in collaboration with its Irish counterpart Met Éireann and, since 2019, its Dutch counterpart the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, decided to introduce a storm naming system following the St Jude's day storm on 27–28 October 2013 which caused 17 deaths in Europe and the 2013–14 Atlantic winter storms in Europe to give a single, authoritative naming system to prevent confusion with the media and public using different names for the same storms.
In 2019 the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute decided to adopt the same naming system and since then submits a list of suggested names. The definitive list is combined from suggestions from the three countries.
The objectives behind the decision were to:
- Raise awareness of the dangers of storms
- Ensure greater public safety
- Avoid confusion if the name of the remnant of a tropical storm is used, for instance “the ex-hurricane Joaquin that reached Europe earlier this month.”
- Involve the public
- Operate with a common cross border system
The names will be used on predicted large-scale, cyclonic windstorms with potential for significant land-based wind impacts. This may result in names being allocated to events that are below the traditional Beaufort scale definition of a storm.
A storm will be named when it is deemed able to have a "substantial" impact on the UK or Ireland. Met Éireann names any storm which triggers a status Orange or Red weather warning focusing on wind, though consideration was also given to rain and snow events in 2016–17. The basis for such as outlined on their weather warning service are mean wind speeds in excess of 80 km/h (50 mph) or gusts over 130 km/h (80 mph). Similarly, the Met Office name storms that have the potential to cause medium (Amber) or high (Red) impacts to the UK. It describes the wind strength relative to observations such as "falling trees or tiles and other items like garden furniture being blown around and even a number of properties left without electrical power."
Status Amber or Status Red weather warnings will be applied to named storms.
In the case of ex-tropical storms or hurricanes, the original name allocated by the US National Hurricane Center in Miami will continue to be used. This happened when Ex-Hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland and Britain in October 2017, although Brian was the next scheduled name on the list.
In September 2015, the two Met offices consulted the public via a "Name our storms" campaign and chose the first batch of names.
|Season||Strongest wind gust||Place and date of strongest wind gust||Season began||Season ended||Total storms||Strongest storm (by pressure)||Total fatalities|
|2015–16||171 km/h or 106 mph|| The Needles Old Battery, United Kingdom
|7 November 2015||28 March 2016||11||Storm Frank
928 hPa (27.4 inHg)
|2016–17||192 km/h or 119 mph|| Liverpool, United Kingdom
|19 November 2016||3 March 2017||5||Storm Barbara
949 hPa (28.0 inHg)
|2017–18||270 km/h or 170 mph|| Svinoy, Denmark
|12 September 2017||14 June 2018||18||Storm Fionn
935 hPa (27.6 inHg)
|2018–19||188 km/h or 117 mph|| Cap Pertusato, France
|16 September 2018||12 June 2019||23||Storm Callum
939 hPa (27.7 inHg)
|2019–20||230 km/h or 140 mph|| Unknown, United Kingdom
|2 October 2019||27 August 2020||21||Storm Dennis
920 mbar (27 inHg)
|74 (+12 missing)|
- Winter storm naming in the United States
- Tropical cyclone naming
- Atlantic hurricane season
- European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
- European windstorm
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- "Storm names for 2020-21 announced". 1 September 2020.