The storm names for the 2017-18 storm season have been announced by the Met Office and Met Éireann.
The first storm of the year will be female and will be named ‘Aileen’, the gender of the first storm alternates each year and follows Angus in the 2016-17 season.
Surveys conducted after named storms in 2016/17 have shown further increases in awareness and action taken in response to people hearing of a named storm. Storm Doris for example achieved an 89% awareness score with 94% of those responders finding the severe weather warning useful. 82% of people that took action ahead of Storm Doris felt they were right to do so.
Derrick Ryall, Head of Public Weather Services at the Met Office, said: “Last year was another successful pilot of the storm naming project and it’s great to be now making it operational. Naming storms has been proved to raise awareness of severe weather in the UK, crucially prompting people to take action to prevent harm to themselves or their property.”
Gerald Fleming, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann, said: “Last winter was a very quiet one weather-wise and we only worked our way through five named storms, from Angus to Ewan. While it is too early to say whether the coming winter will be a stormy one or a quiet one we are prepared with a whole new set of 21 names for whatever nature may throw at us. As before Met Éireann forecasters will work in close co-operation with our colleagues from the UK Met Office to keep all the peoples of these islands warned of impending severe weather.”
The names for the next year have once again been compiled using suggestions submitted by the public combined with names proposed to Met Éireann. As in previous years, Q; U; X; Y and Z will not be used to comply with international storm naming conventions.
A storm will be named on the basis of ‘medium’ or ‘high’ impacts from wind but also include the impacts of rain and snow, i.e. storms will be named for weather systems which we expect an Amber or Red warning will eventually be issued by Met Éireann and/or the Met Office’s National Severe Weather Warning Service (NSWWS).
The 2016-17 season saw five storms named, from Angus in late November to Ewan at the end of February. In comparison eleven storms were named in the 2015-16 season, from Abigail in mid-November to Katie at the end of March.
This year’s names will be announced at the European Conference for Applied Meteorology and Climatology in Dublin at 15:00 6 September 2017. The start of this year’s storm season looks to be getting off to an unsettled start, with low pressure moving in from the west towards the end of the week and dominating our weekend weather.
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