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STORM Christoph is due to bring heavy rainfall and flooding to the UK after the Met Office issued amber and yellow weather warnings on January 19.
Like in America, UK storms are given specific names to help determine which is which as they hit the country – but what are they named?
Storm Christoph has been named as the Met Office issued amber and yellow weather warningsCredit: Alamy Live News
What will the next storm be named?
The UK is currently the grip of Storm Christoph.
Northern and central parts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to see torrential rain today (January 19) as Storm Christoph sweeps the country.
Eight inches of rain is expected in the coming days, as well as snow and gales.
The Met Office has issued an amber warning for rain between Tuesday 19 to Thursday 21 January for central northern England – and the service says some towns could be cut off by the weather.
And a major incident has been declared in South Yorkshire over fears of extensive flooding.
The list of storm names are revealed by the Met Office from September to August.
The next storm will be Storm Darcy.
Storm Christoph sparks flooding concerns with a major incident declared in South YorkshireCredit: PA
What are the 2020 storm names in the UK?
Storm names have been decided up until August 2021, when names for September 2021 to August 2022 will be announced.
The Met Office chooses the names but it asks for members of the public to help by making suggestions every year.
The service decided to start naming storms in alphabetical order back in 2014, in the hope that doing so would make people more aware of them and how dangerous they can be.
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.
Among the names on this year’s list include Heulwen, Klaas and Saidhbhin.
Storms set to batter Britain from September 2020 to August 2021
Alex (named in France)
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, the naming convention follows the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gamma…).
An amber warning has been issued in Leeds and other areas of north and central EnglandCredit: PA
Why did the UK start naming storms?
Analysis has shown that naming storms makes people more aware of the severe weather and helps them prepare for them in advance.
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.
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.
Storms names for 2019/20
The full list of storm names for 2019/2020 is:
- Alex (October 2020)
- Atiyah (December 6, 2019)
- Brendan (January 11, 2020)
- Ciara (February 5, 2020)
- Dennis (February 11, 2020)
- Jorge (February 27, 2020 – named by AEMet)
- Ellen (August 18, 2020)
- Francis (August 24-26, 2020)
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.
This means people end up taking fewer precautions to protect themselves, according to researchers at the University of Illinois.
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.”