The 1st September marks the start of meteorological autumn and with a new winter season looming, the Met Office have announced the storm names for 2022-23.
Betty, Daisy, Fleur and Tobias are among the names to be used for storms that head our way over the next 12 months.
Last year Storm Eunice led to power cuts and fallen trees, as wind gusts reached a record breaking 122 mph in England.
Now in its eighth year, the storm naming is a joint venture between the British, Irish and Dutch met service, with an aim to raise awareness about dangerous and potentially life threatening weather events.
Storm names for 2022-23
Why do we name storms?
Back in 2015, the British (Met Office) and Irish (Met Éireann) met services joined together and decided to follow our American counterparts in naming storm systems which arrive on our shores. The "Name our Storms" campaign was launched in a bid to raise public awareness and perception about dangerous, disruptive and potentially life threatening severe weather. Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting Division in Met Éireann said "it creates a great media and public ‘call to action’ helping to save lives and property.”
In 2019, the Dutch met service (KNMI) joined the British and Irish in a collaborative storm naming system.
The Head of Forecasting at KNMI, Jan Rozema said: “Chances are very high that severe storms will affect all three countries involved. News on severe weather is not limited to national boundaries, so the message to UK, Irish and Dutch inhabitants will be much appreciated and understood if we share storm names."
How are the names chosen?
Every year, the three forecasting bodies asks for suggestions from members of the public. A list of names is then compiled using these suggestions with an aim to reflect the diversity across the different countries. Storms are named in alphabetical order, although letters further down the alphabet are far less likely to be used.
Storm Katie arrived on Easter Monday back on 28th March 2016, since then no storm has been named past the letter K.
The French, Spanish and Portuguese met service have also joined together in a similar fashion, naming storms from their own combined list. As storm systems do not have boundaries, sometimes storms named by other centres may appear in the UK media as they bring impacts to British Isles too.
From time to time the remnants of Ex-Hurricanes and Ex-Tropical Storms track across the Atlantic and arrive in the UK. When this happens we retain the name given by the American National Hurricane Center to avoid confusion.
If you would like to submit your storm name suggestions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
This year, Storm Betty was chosen in a Twitter poll by the Met Office during the summer. Over 12,000 people voted with Betty coming out as the front runner. This will be the second name storm for this season.
When do we name storms and what is the criteria?
Storms are named when they are forecast to be impactful and are expected to cause medium or high impacts in the UK, Ireland or the Netherlands. This usually coincides with an Amber or Red warning. However, it isn't as straight forward as you might think as each forecasting centre has different criteria for warnings.
The UK Met Office issue warnings based on their impacts and likelihood of the event occurring. Meanwhile, the Dutch and Irish met service use a mixture of numerical thresholds and impacts for issuing warnings.
For example, an orange (amber) warning for wind would be issued in Ireland if wind gusts were expected to reach 80kph and red if speeds were forecast between 110 to 130kph. For an amber wind warning to be issued in the UK, the location of the strongest winds, storm track, time of year, day and longevity are to name a few of the variables which would be considered for impacts.
It must also be mentioned that storms are not only named based on their wind strength. Rain and snow will also be considered if they are likely to cause disruption.
Why are there no storms for Q, U, X, Y and Z?
Just like the United States National Hurricane Center, storms in the UK are not named using the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z.
When does the storm season start?
In the UK, the storm season starts on 1st September which also marks the beginning of Meteorological Autumn and runs until the end of August the following year.