Storm names 2020 – how are UK storms named and which name is next?

EVERY year the Met Office asks Brits to send in ideas for future storm names.

The national weather service hopes names will encourage us to understand the range of impacts severe weather may bring, before it hits.

What are 2020 storm names in the UK?

IS YOUR NAME ON THE LIST?

The full list of storm names for 2019/2020 is:

  • Atiyah
  • Brendan
  • Ciara
  • Dennis
  • Ellen
  • Francis
  • Gerda
  • Hugh
  • Iris
  • Jan
  • Kitty
  • Liam
  • Maura
  • Noah
  • Olivia
  • Piet
  • Roisin
  • Samir
  • Tara
  • Vince
  • Willow

Why are some UK storms given names?

Analysis has shown that naming storms makes people more aware of the severe weather and helps them prepare in advance.

So the Met Office and its Irish counterpart Met Eireann decided to follow the US system of giving girls and boys' names to tropical storms and hurricanes.

Surveys showed people were more aware of the threat and more likely to take action after hearing the name of a storm, rather than a forecast simply saying bad weather is on the way.

For example, 89 per cent of people said they were aware of the approaching Storm Doris – which wreaked havoc in February 2017 – and 94 per cent said warnings were useful.

How are UK storms chosen?

A total of 21 names were chosen by Met Office and Met Eireann – whittled down from a total of more than 10,000 suggestions submitted by the public.

One name was picked for each letter of the alphabet, apart from Q, U, X, Y and Z.

Every major storm will be named according to the list, ordered alphabetically.

Why are there no storm names for Q, U, X, Y and Z?

To ensure the Met Office is in line with the US National Hurricane Centre naming conventions, it does not include names which begin with the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z.

This is to ensure consistency for official storm naming in the North Atlantic – to reduce confusion for fellow weather experts, sea captains and pilots.

In America, when all the names in the storm alphabet are used, names are given following the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gamma…).

Is there a difference between male and female storms?

A study of American hurricanes has shed light on an alarming pattern, and explained that more people are killed by "female" storms than those with male names.

The reason why is all down to how we subconsciously view gender, since we're more likely to assume that storms with female names will be less dangerous.

Incredibly, the 2014 study added that the more feminine the name, the more people a storm is likely to kill.

The researchers even suggested that changing a hurricane's name from Charley to Eloise could triple the number of fatalities.

Co-author Sharon Shavitt, a professor at the University of Illinois, said: "In judging the intensity of a storm, people appear to be applying their beliefs about how men and women behave."

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