The storm names for the 2023/24 storm names have been announced by the Met Office. Storms are named in partnership with Met Éireann (the meteorological service in Ireland) and KNMI (the Dutch national weather service), with this being the nineth year of the storm naming project to help raise awareness and inform the public of the risks of upcoming storms. Storms Agnes, Babet and Ciarán will be the first named storms of 2023-24.
The tradition of naming storms began in 1953 in the United States when the National Hurricane Centre (now the World Meteorological Organisation) began assigning female names to storms and hurricanes, with male names introduced from 1978 onwards. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that the Met Office in the UK decided to start giving storms male and female names in a similar tradition.
The Met Office, Met Éireann, and the KNMI select each years’ list of names from suggestions submitted by the public. The names are selected based on popularity and how well they represent the different cultures, nations and diversity across Britain and Ireland. Storm names are assigned in alphabetical order, however, to remain in line with the US National Hurricane naming conventions, storms are never assigned names beginning with the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z. This year, Met Office suggestions include names of people who work to protect the public in times of severe weather, as well as submissions from the public.
Storms are named when they could cause ‘medium’ or ‘high’ impacts in one of the partner countries and help provide consistent, authoritative messaging in times of severe weather.
For Storm Eunice, which was the strongest storm to impact England and Wales since February 2014, 95% of people within the red warning area in the southeast found the warning useful, while National Highways reported 21% less traffic on the roads in England on 18 February as people amended plans to stay safe during impactful storms.
If a storm is named by a different storm naming group and impacts the UK, the given name will be used in communications, as occurred with Storms Otto and Noa in February and April this year. In addition, if the remnants of a hurricane has moved across the Atlantic to impact UK weather, this would be referred to as an ex-hurricane with its previously given name.
Below are the storm names for 2023/24:
Q, U, X, Y, Z not included to be in line with US National Hurricane Centre naming convention.
We have written a blog all about the 2023/24 Storm names, including information about why they are named. It highlights some of the significant storms that have affected the UK, in particular, northern England. Please click here to read it.
Click here to read the Met Office news article for more information about the 2023-24 storm names.