storm's a comin'

Ciara, Hugh, Liam, Maura: Met Éireann has released this year's list of winter storm names

It’s the fifth year that the forecaster will take part in the ‘Name Our Storms’ scheme.

boohooman-dinner-london Love Island star Maura Higgins, who is one of those who shares her name with a storm this year SIPA USA / PA Images SIPA USA / PA Images / PA Images

MET ÉIREANN HAS released its list of storm names for 2019/2020, 

It’s the fifth year that Met Éireann has partnered with the UK Met Office as part of the ‘Name our Storms’ scheme, which aims to raise awareness of severe weather before it hits.

For the first time, both forecasters will also be joined by their Dutch counterparts at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), adding some continental colour to this year’s list.

A storm is named by a forecaster when orange or red level winds are expected to impact over a wide land area. However, orange or red level gusts can occur in exposed areas without the event being named.

The names are chosen based on submissions by the public, and Met Éireann issued its call-out for this year’s names a number of weeks ago.

Storms beginning with the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used in order to comply with international storm naming conventions, while controversial names – such as those of public figures – are not included either.

This year, the first storm will be female and named Atiyah, while the second storm will be male and named Brendan, following the alternating male-female pattern established by the US National Hurricane Center in the 1970s.

Meteorologist Gerard Fleming explained the thinking behind the storm naming system when he announced the new plan back in 2014.

Here’s the full list of this year’s names:

Storm Names 2019-20 Met Éireann Met Éireann

Evelyn Cusack, the head of forecasting at Met Éireann and Chair of the European Storm Naming Group, said that the naming system was clear and authoritative and prompted people to take action to prevent harm to themselves and their property.

“We are overwhelmed with the huge response to our public call for storm names and please don’t be too disappointed if your name hasn’t been used as you will get another chance next year,” she added.

Last September, Storm Ali hit Ireland and cut power to thousands of homes and destroyed buildings. Two people were killed during the storm, which also saw the cancellation of the second day of the National Ploughing Championships.

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