The United Kingdom’s Met Office, in collaboration with their Irish counterpart Met Éireann, decided to introduce a storm naming system following the St Jude’s day storm on 27–28 October 2013 which caused 17 deaths in Europe and the 2013–14 Atlantic winter storms in Europe to give a single, authoritative naming system to prevent confusion with the media and public using different names for the same storms.
The objectives behind the decision were to:
- Raise awareness of the dangers of storms
- Ensure greater public safety
- Avoid confusion if the name of the remnant of a tropical storm is used, for instance “the ex-hurricane Joaquin that reached Europe earlier this month.”
- Involve the public
- Operate with a common cross border system
The names will be used on predicted large-scale, cyclonic windstorms with potential for significant land-based wind impacts. This may result in names being allocated to events that are below the traditional Beaufort scale definition of a storm.
A storm will be named when it is deemed able to have a “substantial” impact on the UK or Ireland. Met Éireann names any storm which triggers a status orange or red weather warning focusing on wind, though consideration will also be given to rain and snow events in 2016–17. The basis for such as outlined on their weather warning service are mean wind speeds in excess of 40 mph (65 km/h) or gusts over 68 mph (110 km/h). Similarly, the Met Office name storms that have the potential to cause medium (amber) or high (red) impacts to the UK. It describes the wind strength relative to observations such as “falling trees or tiles and other items like garden furniture being blown around and even a number of properties left without electrical power.”
- Status Amber or Status Red weather warnings will be applied to named storms.
- In the case of ex-tropical storms or hurricanes, the original name allocated by the US National Hurricane Center in Miami will continue to be used.
- The less common letters Q, U, X, Y and Z will not be used, in common with the US hurricane warning system.
Info courtesy of Wikipedia