Storm Ali is here, but why do we name storms?

Last updated: Jan 30th, 2019

Storm Ali is the UK’s first named storm of the season, as winds of up to 80mph sweep across the UK. An amber, “be prepared”, weather warning is in force from 08:00 BST in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Northern England, and heavy rain is forecast.

  • Why do we name storms?

    The Met Office decided to start naming storms back in 2014, the same way that they do in America. The Met Office hoped that by naming storms people will be more aware of them and how dangerous they can be – as well as it being easier to following the storm’s progress in TV, radio and social media.

  • How are the names picked?

    The Met Office started a special campaign called Name Our Storms, asking the public to send in their suggestions in September 2015. The most popular names put forward by the public, alongside names suggested by Met Éireann, made the list.

  • How big do storms have to be to get a name?

    Only those storms that are big enough to be expected to cause damage are usually given a name.

  • Which storm name will be picked first?

    The storms will be picked in alphabetical order, with the girls’ and boys’ names being picked in turn. Storm Ali is currently with us, the next storm will be called Bronagh.