In Brief

From Atiyah to Willow: how UK storms get their names

British Isles also set to be hit by Kitty, Liam and Dennis in the coming year

Britons should prepare to take a pounding from Atiyah, Brendan and Ciara this winter, as the Met Office reveals the latest list of names for the next storms to hit our shores.

The list is the result of a joint “Name Our Storms” campaign with Ireland’s Met Eirann and Dutch national forecasting service the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), reports Sky News. In a bid to raise awareness of the need to prepare for severe weather, members of the public were invited to decide what the coming year’s strongest weather systems should be called.

Derrick Ryall, head of public weather services at the Met Office, said: “We are really pleased storm naming has been embraced by press, media and public to better communicate the potential impacts of severe weather, so people are better prepared when it matters.” 

The list of names runs in alphabetical order but skips the letters Q, U X, Y, and Z, “to comply with international storm-naming conventions”, according to the London Evening Standard.

The 2019-20 names include Olivia, which for three consecutive years has also been the most popular option for girls born in England and Wales, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

The Met Office and Met Eirann launched the annual storm-naming competition in 2015, with the Dutch weather service now joining the initiative for the first time. 

KNMI boss Gerard van der Steenhoven said his team had decided to partner with the UK and Irish offices because storms “are not confined to national borders”.

“As many people are travelling - sometimes on a daily basis - between our countries, the use of common names will make it a lot easier for them to appreciate the hazards represented by a large storm system,” he added.

The full list of 2019 storm names is:

Atiyah

Brendan

Ciara

Dennis

Ellen

Francis

Gerda

Hugh

Iris

Jan

Kitty

Liam

Maura

Noah

Olivia

Piet

Roisin

Samir

Tara

Vince

Willow

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