Storm Aileen, Larry or Winifred could be blowing our way soon
Met Éireann and Met Office announce list of names to be given to severe weather this year
Storm Barbara was among the named storms that brough heavy winds and rain to Ireland last year. Photograph: Eric Luke.
The storm names for the 2017-18 storm season have been announced by Met Éireann and the UK Met Office . Photograph: Met Éireann
Larry, Fionn, Winifred, Eleanor and Dylan are among the named storms that could make their way across Ireland and the UK in the coming months.
Met Eireann on Wednesday said the names for the storm season had been decided on in conjunction with their colleagues in the UK Met Office and that the first storm of the 2017/18 season would be named ‘Aileen’.
Others weather events we may yet hear about include storms Caroline, James, Niall, Maeve and Octavia.
This is the third year the weather organisations have been naming storms, which Derrick Ryall, head of public weather services at the Met Office, said has been proven to raise awareness of severe weather events and has prompted people “to take action to prevent harm to themselves or their property”.
“The project has indeed raised greater awareness for storms and ensured greater safety for the public,” he added.
Surveys have shown that naming storms increases awareness, with 89 per cent of people polled after last year’s Storm Doris aware of the severe weather.
Most (94 per cent) of those aware of the storm had found the severe weather warnings useful, and 82 per cent of those who had taken action felt they were right to do so.
Storm Ewan in February this year brought wind, flooding and bitterly cold temperatures to the country, while Storm Barbara in December unfortunately dashed any hopes we had of a white Christmas and instead left a trail of rain and wind over the Christmas period.
Met Eireann head of forecasting Gerald Fleming said that last winter “was a very quiet one weather-wise and we only worked our way through five named storms, from Angus to Ewan”.
“In keeping with international storm naming conventions, q, u, x, y, and z will not be used when naming storms,” he added.
In comparison, 11 storms were named in the 2015/16 season, the first year of naming UK and Irish storms, beginning with Abigail in mid-November to Katie at the end of March.
For a storm to be serious enough to be given a name it must be a wind storm with potential for significant land-based impact, a severe wind that warrants a status Orange or Red weather warning or significant rain or snow events.
The full set of storm names due to be assigned for 17/18 is: Aileen, Brian, Caroline, Dylan, Eleanor, Fionn, Georgina, Hector, Iona, James, Karen , Larry, Maeve, Niall, Octavia, Paul, Rebecca, Simon, Tali, Victor and Winifred.
(Additional reporting - PA)