Why do storms have names?

Why do storms have names?

Published at 8:46am 18th February 2020.

3 minute read

The Met Office has been giving names to severe weather conditions since 2015.

We've just seen the back of Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis - but why do we give storms such personal names?

The Met Office says it's so that we're more aware of storms hitting the UK.

In the past, we've had lots of storms with different names including Storm Hannah, Storm Freya, and Storm Ophelia.

And there's nothing British people enjoy more than talking about the weather - this is what 's been chosen for 2019/2020:

Met Office, storm names 2020
A-Z of UK storm names for 2019/20

WHY DO STORMS HAVE NAMES?

The Met Office hoped that naming big storms will make people more aware of them and how dangerous they can be.

They think it will be easier to follow the progress of a storm on the TV, radio, or on social media if it has a name.

WHY ARE THERE NO STORMS NAMES Q, U, X, Y OR Z?

That's to match the US National Hurricane Centre which leaves out names that begin with these letters.

The Met Office has done the same thing to make sure official storm naming in the North Atlantic is consistent.

Lightning Storm
Storms can bring all sorts of weather conditions, including thunder and lightning

WHAT MAKES A STORM NAME-WORTHY?

According to the Met Office, a storm will be named when it has the potential to cause an amber 'be prepared' or red 'take action' warning.

Criteria include wind speeds surpassing 40mph, or gusts over 68mph.

tree down storm ciara
The storms over the last couple of weeks have left a lot of fallen trees and travel disruption

WHAT STORM IS NEXT?

After Storms Dennis and Ciara, you might be wondering what the name of the next storm due to blow in will be.

Both storms have caused havoc this winter - and it's only February!

Next up is Ellen - but the Met Office hasn't released any details on that storm just yet.

But Spire FM will have all the latest developments on local weather on our dedicated page.

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