Storm names: How do they name storms in the UK? What storm are we on?

Storm Jorge is forecast to bring heavy rain and severe winds to the UK this weekend, creating the potential for more flooding misery for already drenched areas. Eagle-eyed observers may note Storm Jorge does not follow on alphabetically from Storm Dennis the way most storms do.

This is because Storm Jorge was not named by the Met Office, but instead by AEMet – Spain’s meteorological agency.

Storm Jorge is forecast to hit the UK on Saturday, with a plethora of weather warnings in place across the country.

These are for rain, wind, snow and ice, as temperatures will plummet alongside fierce winds.

Storm Jorge will impact much of the UK, like its predecessors’ Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara over the past few weeks.

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What storm are we on?

So far this season we have had Storm Atiyah, Storm Brendan, Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis.

The next storm to hit the UK will be this weekend when Storm Jorge wreaks havoc with fierce winds and torrential rain.

This storm was named by AEMet, and it is a convention for other meteorological agencies to use the given names of storms.

Despite Storm Jorge hitting the UK this weekend, the next storm to hit the UK named by the Met Office will still be Storm Ellen.

Then it will follow alphabetically down the list of storm names the Met Office has for Atlantic Storm season 2019/20.

Storm Francis, Gerda, Hugh, Iris and Jan will be the next five named storms from the Met Office.

Each year the Met Office and Met Éireann ask people to send ideas for names for future storms and thousands of suggestions are received.

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The final list of storms for an upcoming season are agreed between the Met Office and Met Éireann.

There are no storm names which begin with the letters Q, U, X, Y or Z and this is to ensure the Met Office are in line with the US National Hurricane Centre naming conventions.

This will maintain consistency for official storm naming in the North Atlantic.

The remnants of systems from a tropical storm or hurricane are to reach the UK after moving across the Atlantic, the well-established method of referring to it is as ‘Ex-hurricane X’.

When is a storm named?

The Met Office name a storm based on the National Severe Weather Warnings service.

For a storm to be named it must meet a series of criteria based on the impact the weather could have and the likelihood of those impacts.

Storms are also named when they have the potential to trigger an amber or red warnings.

The impact a storm could have in terms of flooding and snowfall are also factors which could lead to it being named.

The winter season is one known for its stormy weather, so it is not uncommon to see many storms within a short time frame.

According to the Met Office, overall, the period from mid-December 2013 to mid-February 2014 saw at least 12 major winter storms.

When compared to previous storm seasons, this was the stormiest period of weather the UK had experienced for at least 20 years.

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