Storm Arwen may be first to batter the South West this winter

Wednesday 1st September 2021 10:16 am
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Arwen, Barra and Corrie will be the first storms to hit the South West this winter as the Met Office reveals the inspiration behind the name of this season’s storms.

The UK public has chosen to recognise friends, families and pets in the latest storm names, which have been announced today.

The Met Office, along with partners Met Éireann and KNMI, have announced the storm names for use in the 2021/22 season, which runs from September 2021 through to the end of August 2022.

As in previous years, the names chosen have been selected by the three national meteorological organisations, but this year the UK public had its say on the names the Met Office put forward for consideration.

Over 10,000 submissions were made by the UK public, with the names selected by the Met Office reflecting some of the more popular choices, as well as some of the heart-warming reasons behind the nominations.

The names chosen reflect the diversity of the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands and the first storm that will be named by the group this year will be Arwen, a name which was popularised by Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books.

Other names included on the list are Kim, with reasons behind its nomination including a ‘whirlwind’ relative and a self-confessed weather watcher.

Logan, a name of Scottish origin, was nominated by several parents and grandparents, including a mention of a grandson who ‘runs through the house like a tornado’ and one who is ‘as quick as lightning’ when playing as a goalkeeper.

A cat who ‘comes in and acts like a storm’, has also found her name on the list, with Storm Ruby making the final cut. This is a name that was also nominated for a daughter who ‘leaves a trail of destruction’ when she comes in the house.

Dudley fought off competition from seven other names beginning with D to top a poll which ran on Twitter last week which had over 12,000 votes.

One reason Dudley was originally submitted was for a couple who are due to get married in 2022 and will then share the last name of Dudley. They wrote, “We find it comical to name a storm for us getting married.”

While the names of storms can be lighthearted, the impacts from storms can be severe. Names were selected on a range of criteria, including whether it is being used by other storm naming groups, whether there have been significant impacts from previous storms with the same name and if it is a name that has already been used in recent years by the group.

Storms will be named by the group when they’re deemed to cause ‘medium’ or ‘high’ impacts in the UK, Ireland or the Netherlands. In addition to strong winds, impacts from rain and snow will also be considered in the naming process.

The naming of storms is intended to help the media and public better communicate the impacts of potential severe weather events, helping people to stay safe and protect themselves and their property ahead of inclement weather. If a storm has already been named by another storm naming group before it impacts the UK, the original name will be used in communications about it.

Will Lang, head of the National Severe Weather Warning Service at the Met Office, said: “This is now the seventh year of us naming storms with our European partners and we look forward to continuing to work together with them to raise awareness around the impacts of severe weather in order to help keep people from all nations safe.

“We’re all aware of some of the severe weather that has been witnessed across Europe and globally in recent months and we work to use any tool at our disposal to ensure the public is informed of potential risks, and naming storms is just one way we do that. We know naming storms helps raise awareness of the impacts of severe weather and ensures clarity for the public when they need it most.”

Evelyn Cusack, head of forecasting at Met Éireann, said: “Whilst our weather this summer has ended on a settled note, we are now prepared for the autumn and winter with a new list of storm names for 2021-22, whatever the weather may bring.

“Met Éireann forecasters look forward to another season of working closely with our colleagues at the Met Office and KNMI, by continuing to provide a clear and consistent message to the public and encouraging people to take action to prevent harm to themselves or to their properties at times of severe weather.”

KNMI director general Gerard van der Steenhoven said: “Storms are not confined to national borders, it makes a lot of sense to given common names to such extreme weather events. We gladly continue our collaboration with the UK Met Office and Met Éireann on storm forecasting.

"It is a great privilege and advantage to work in close co-operation with our colleagues from Ireland and the UK in the communication about storms. All people exposed to such impending extreme weather events will benefit.”

Find out more about storm naming on the UK Storm Centre page.

Here is the list of upcoming storms in full: Arwen, Barra, Corrie, Dudley, Eunice, Franklin, Gladys, Herman, Imani, Jack, Kim, Logan, Méabh, Nasim, Olwen, Pól, Ruby, Sean, Tineke, Vergil, Willemien

Lightning photo by Oimheidi / Pixabay

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