A notification on my phone on Saturday read:
“BBC News – Storm Ciara to bring severe gales to UK”
This headline got me wondering if there will ever be a Storm Gale. And what other names are and aren’t acceptable.
According to this Wired article, we’ve been naming storms since 2015, when the UK and Irish met offices used social media to crowdsource 10,000 suggestions. A name-storm, if you will.
Rejected storm names include:
- branch wobbler
- in a teacup
- Any name starting with Q, U, X, Y and Z (so no, no Storm Z then – pronounced the American way)
We name storms – like hurricanes – in alphabetical order, alternating female and male. Naming storms is designed to raise awareness and improve public safety.
There’s a list of 21 names for the 2019-2020 season on the Met Office Storm Centre website.
After Ciara there will be Dennis, then Ellen. If it gets really bad we’ll get to Noah.
If we’d had 10 more storms in 2015/2016 there would have been a windy Wendy.
For the full list of names for each year since they started, see the Winter storm naming in the United Kingdom and Ireland Wikipedia page.