Storm Dave or Gale Gail? British public to get the chance to name their own storms

Names can be suggested to the Met Office using #nameourstorms on Twitter

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The Independent Online

In Indonesia they give typhoons angry-sounding names, such as “Anggur” and “Kenanga”. In North America they go for names such as “Bret” and “Odette”. So what would the UK call its storms?

The British Isles will soon find out when the UK and Irish get the chance to name their storms in a new initiative by the Met Office and Met Eireann this autumn and winter.

So how about Storm Dave or Gale Debbie? Under the initiative, people will be able to send possible names to the Met Office via Twitter, Facebook and email. It is hoped it will help to raise awareness of severe weather and ensure greater safety of the public.

Derrick Ryall, the head of the Public Weather Service at the Met Office, said: “The aim of this pilot is to provide a single authoritative naming system for the storms that affect the UK and Ireland. 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.” Names can be suggested to the Met Office using #nameourstorms on Twitter, sent in via the Met Office’s Facebook page or by email. The names will be collated and a list compiled to include those proposed by Met Eireann.

Storm names will then be taken from this list, in alphabetical order, alternating between male and female names. A storm will be named when it is deemed to have the potential to cause “medium” or “high” wind impacts on the British Isles.

If a storm affecting the UK and Ireland is the remnants of a hurricane that had moved across the Atlantic, the name would not be changed and would instead be referred to as “Ex-Hurricane X”.

Press Association