The Name Our Storms pilot scheme began last autumn/winter when members of the public were asked to suggest names for wind storms with the potential to cause substantial impacts.
And it proved popular with thousands of names being suggested. As the scheme got underway with Storm Abigail in November, the names were quickly adopted by the public, the media and the Met Office’s partner organisations.
Derek Ryall, Head of Public Weather Services at the Met Office, said: “By naming storms more people were made aware of the approaching threat of severe weather and were able to act on this information.
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“A YouGov survey based on the first seven storms showed that 55 per cent of those surveyed took steps to prepare for stormy weather after hearing that a storm had been named. People were therefore better informed.”
The next phase of the project will run for a year from October 1 and will see some changes, including adding more than one weather type, specifically rain if its impact could lead to flooding. So in future, storm systems would be named on the basis of ipacts from wind but could also include the impacts of rain and snow.
Storms will be named, alternating between male and female, when they have the potential to cause an amber ‘be prepared’ or red ‘take action’ warning.