Posted: Fri 1st Sep 2023

Met Office: 2023/24 storms named after weather responders, including Wales team leader

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Sep 1st, 2023

A Natural Resources Wales team leader, who plays a crucial role in alerting the public about river and coastal flooding in Wales, has the honor of being included in the list of new storm names for the 2023/24 season

The Met Office, in partnership with Met Éireann and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), announced the new list of storm names for the upcoming season, which includes names of those involved in responses to severe weather, as well as submissions from the public.

The list includes the names Agnes, Babet, and Ciarán as the first three named storms by the group this season.

Storms will be named when they are deemed to have the potential to cause ‘medium’ or ‘high’ impacts in the UK, Ireland, or the Netherlands.

Wind is the primary consideration for naming a storm, but additional impacts from rain or snow will also be considered.

“This year, it’s great to be able to recognise the collaborative efforts of some of our partners across the UK with the inclusion of names from some partner organisations,” said Met Office Head of Situational Awareness, Will Lang.

“Working across different agencies allows us to help as many people as possible be prepared for severe weather.”

The partnership approach involves collating a list of names from the Met Office, Met Éireann, and KNMI.

This year, the Met Office’s suggestions include names of people who work to protect the public in times of severe weather, as well as submissions from the public.

Natural Resources Wales’ Regina Simmons, who is a Team Leader for Warning and Informing, finds her first name in the list.

Her team uses Met Office data and forecasts to predict and warn for river and coastal flooding in Wales.

Regina said: “So many people think that flooding won’t happen to them.”

“The first thing we can all do is check if our area is at risk of flooding before the rain starts to fall.”

“People in Wales can do that by simply popping in their postcode on the online flood risk checker on the NRW website or by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.”

Ciarán Fearon, who works for the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland, uses Met Office forecasts regularly and ensures relevant information is shared on river levels, coastal flooding, and other impacts of severe weather.

“With the effects of climate change, we are more aware than ever of how weather can affect us all in every aspect of our daily lives,” said Ciarán.

“We need to respect each weather event and this work, particularly during periods of severe weather and storms, helps to ensure that we are all as well prepared as possible to help reduce the impact of such events.”

Names from Met Éireann are inspired by famous scientists, while names from KNMI are often of Dutch origin and were submitted by the public throughout the year.

Environment Agency’s Water Resources Security of Supply Manager, Stuart Sampson, highlighted the importance of naming storms as a communication tool.

“Our weather is a great conversation starter! Giving a storm a name means we can all talk about an event with a clear and common understanding,” Sampson said.

This year, the traditional male/female ordering of names has been broken to allow the inclusion of some of the more popular submitted names.

Storms are named to aid communication when severe weather is in the forecast, which can help everyone keep themselves, their property, and businesses safe and protected.

For example, 99% of people within the red warning area in the southeast were aware of the warnings during Storm Eunice in 2022, highlighting the effectiveness of storm naming as a communications tool.

The full list of 2023/24 storm names includes Agnes, Babet, Ciarán, Debi, Elin, Fergus, Gerrit, Henk, Isha, Jocelyn, Kathleen, Lilian, Minnie, Nicholas, Olga, Piet, Regina, Stuart, Tamiko, Vincent, and Walid. Q, U, X, Y, and Z are not included to be in line with the US National Hurricane Centre naming convention.

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