Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Monday, 8 February 2016

Why Do We Keep Naming All Our Storms Such Rubbish Names?

Why Do We Keep Naming All Our Storms Such Rubbish Names?

The Debrief: With Storm Imogen battering our fair isle, we find out just why we've taken to naming our weather patterns

Over the last few months, the UK has been battered left, right and centre by winter storms.

Before Christmas, it was Storm Desmond (the old rascal) that besieged Cumbria, Lancashire and the Scottish Borders, leaving 43,000 homes without power. Over Christmas, there was Eva and Frank who caused severe flooding in Scotland and the North (all while the chair of the Environment Agency Phillip Dilley sunned himself in Barbados, presumably whilst wearing headphones and singing 'LALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU'). Finally today, we're suffering from Storm Imogen which, so far, has outed the power in 5000 homes, suspended train services, put in place 60 flood warnings and, perhaps most devastatingly, closed the Emirates Airline cable car across the Thames, which is terrible news for the four whole people that use Boris's favourite mode of transport to regularly commute to work.

One major difference with the most recent storms Britain has been suffering though are that they've all got human names - names like Abigail, Gertrude and Clodagh. Don't worry; they're not ALL named after women - they're being done alphabetically, one female name and then one male name, although research has shown that storms named after women are often more deadly thanks to people not taking them as seriously. Sigh.

Anyways - in America they've been naming their storms for ages - like Katrina, who turned out to be a real douchebag. Over here, they started the Name Our Storms campaign way back in September last year (don't worry, we forgot too) when they asked the public to suggest what our winter storms should be called. We contributed (not us personally, we were too busy drinking cider in beer gardens in a misguided attempt to catch the last of the summer rays), and now we've got storms named 'Nigel' and 'Steve' to look forward too (maybe we should have got involved).

But why did the Met Office decide to name the storms in the first place? Apparently it's to make us take the weather patterns more seriously and help the Met Office and Met Eireann (Ireland) better communicate with us about what's going on with the storm.

'The naming of storms using a single authoritative system should aid the communication of approaching severe weather through media partners and other government agencies.' The Met Office say. 'In this way the public will be better place to keep themselves, their property and businesses safe.'

So, which storms have we got coming up? Check out the full sorry list below...

Abigail
Barney
Clodagh
Desmond
Eva
Frank
Gertrude
Henry
Imogen
Jake
Katie
Lawrence
Mary
Nigel
Orla
Phil
Rhonda
Steve
Tegan
Vernon
Wendy

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