Met Office hopes storm naming will be a breeze

Hurricane Paddy? No chance. How about Typhoon Enda or Gael Force Michael D? No way, but you could be on the receiving end of Storm Orla sometime soon.

Forecasters in Ireland and Britain have joined forces to make our storms more memorable — as if that was really necessary.

Last month the Met Office and Met Éireann announced a pilot project to name storms that may be blowing this way this autumn and winter.

Orla is one of 21 names chosen by the weather forecasters after a public appeal for suggestions to name powerful storms.

They received thousands of responses from Britain and Ireland by email, Facebook, and Twitter.

The winning names were: Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva, Frank, Gertrude, Henry, Imogen, Jake, Katie, Lawrence, Mary, Nigel, Orla, Phil, Rhonda, Steve, Tegan, Vernon, and Wendy.

It is hoped that naming storms will help raise awareness of severe weather and ensure greater public safety.

A storm will be named when forecasters in Dublin and Exeter in England decide it is powerful enough to cause “medium” or “high” wind impacts in either Britain, Ireland or both.

The names of well-known politicians will not make the cut, though, according to Met Éireann’s head of forecasting, Gerald Fleming.

“We try to avoid well known people in the political sphere or, indeed, heads of state because that would not be appropriate,” he told Newstalk.

The list begins with Abigail, and will alternate between male and female names through the alphabet, but will not include Q, U, X, Y and Z, in line with convention for official storm naming in the North Atlantic.


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