Ali and Deidre are among the names that have been announced for the storms expected to hit the UK and Ireland this winter.
The UK’s Met Office and Ireland’s Met Éireann announced that Ali will be the first in the list of names for this year’s strongest weather systems, with the next storms to be called Bronagh, Callum and Deirdre.
With the names being applied in alphabetical order, a particularly stormy winter could result in Saoirse, Tristan, Violet and Wyn battering the UK and Ireland.
The names were chosen from submissions made by the public as part of the Name our Storms scheme, which aims to raise awareness of severe weather before it hits. It is the fourth year the programme has run.
The first storm this year has been given the male name Ali, followed by an alternating pattern of female and male names. This formulation was set up by the US National Hurricane Center in the 1970s. The list does not include Q, U, X, Y and Z, to comply with international storm-naming conventions.
Derrick Ryall, the head of public weather services at the Met Office, said: “Naming storms has been proved to raise awareness of severe weather in the UK, providing a consistent message to the public and, crucially, prompting people to take action to prevent harm to themselves or to their property.”
According to polling, almost 80% of people think giving storms a name is useful in making them more aware of the severe weathe. Additionally, 63% believe it is useful in letting them know to take action.
In 2017-18, Storm Aileen was the first of 10 severe weather events to hit the UK.
The full list of storm names for 2018-19 is: Ali, Bronagh, Callum, Deirdre, Erik, Freya, Gareth, Hannah, Idris, Jane, Kevin, Lily, Max, Niamh, Oliver, Peggy, Ross, Saoirse, Tristan, Violet and Wyn.
Evelyn Cusack, the head of forecasting at Met Éireann, said: “The last 12 months have seen some extreme weather around the globe as well as here at home. 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.”
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