Storm Names

British meteorological events have hailed a new era. We now name storms.

Hurricanes, typhoons and other tropical revolving storms have been named for many years, from 1957-1978 only women’s names were used, since then they have alternated between male and female names. Incidentally, if an event is extremely devastating that name will not be used again, there will not be another Hurricane Katrina for example. Now pathetic British storms are name worthy. On a side note, tornadoes aren’t named, but they can be named after the fact.

The tropical revolving storms are named to improve communication between meteorologists and the public, in a bid to reduce damage. I’m not entirely convinced British storms are in the same category of severity or that we need a name to understand that a storm is coming, but if it can be shown to have some effect I will be less sceptical.

The naming of storms started last year, although the number of storms recorded was average, it seemed like there were more storms as we talked about Storm Desmond and Imogen, and let’s not forget Storm Gertrude. We have had the first storm of this season, good old Angus, for those interested the full list of names coming this year can be found here. Storms are only named when their impact is considered to be dangerous enough, typically due to high winds. This is another problem I have with the system, what about the storm that wasn’t named. There will undoubtedly be a storm that falls just short of the criteria and misses out on its chance to be named – how is the public expected to cope then?

This storm naming seems slightly unnecessary, particularly as ex-hurricanes coming over from the US will keep their hurricane name. We have survived many stormy winters without the need for a name of a storm to help us effectively prepare.So do we really need to start naming them now? Maybe the Met office was concerned the level of chat in the UK regarding the weather has decreased so they introduced names to storms to spark debate.Or is it an unconscious effort to increase blame culture, storm Frank can be blamed for the fallen tree, rather than us just accepting that it was the weather. But at the end of the day what’s in a name anyway?


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