Next season's storm names revealed – and include weather experts and comic book character

By John Mercury September 1, 2023

Next season’s storm names have been revealed – with civil servants, scientists and even a famous comic book character providing inspiration.

Names on the list include Debi, Ciaran and Regina – after people working to protect the public from severe weather around the UK.

Also on the list is the name Minnie, inspired by Minnie the Minx from the Beano comic, after the inclusion of Storm Dennis in 2020.

Names of famous scientists have also been put forward, including Jocelyn, after astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell.

The list will be used to name storms during the 2023/24 storm season, which runs from September this year to August next year.

The list has been compiled jointly by the UK’s Met Office, as well as Met Eireann in Ireland and the Dutch weather service, KNMI.

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The Met Office put forward the names of people working to protect the public from severe weather around the UK.

Ciaran, after Ciaran Fearon, who works for the Department of Infrastructure in Northern Ireland sharing information on river levels and coastal flooding, was one of those named by the Met Office.

Debi Garft, who recently retired as a senior policy officer in the Scottish government flooding team, was chosen after helping to form the Scottish Flood Forum and the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service.

Gallery staff Abi Francis poses next to a display of Minnie the Minx at Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules, an exhibition of the world's longest-running weekly comic at Somerset House in London. Picture date: Wednesday October 20, 2021.
Image:
The name Minnie, after The Beano character, Minnie the Minx, is on the list. File pic

Regina, named after Regina Simmons, who works for the Natural Resources Wales Warning and Informing team, was also added to the list.

Another person to have inspired an entry on the new list was Stuart Sampson, who has worked for nearly 20 years managing water supplies in times of drought for the Environment Agency.

Mr Sampson said: “Our weather is a great conversation starter. Giving a storm a name means we can all talk about an event with a clear and common understanding.

“Everyone knows what you mean by Hurricane Katrina, for example – you know the magnitude and impacts that had on America.

The full list of storm names for 2023/24

• Agnes

• Babet

• Ciaran

• Debi

• Elin

• Fergus

• Gerrit

• Henk

• Isha

• Jocelyn

• Kathleen

• Lilian

• Minnie

• Nicholas

• Olga

• Piet

• Regina

• Stuart

• Tamiko

• Vincent

• Walid

“But if you said the low-pressure cyclone it would not resonate as much.

“By naming storms, this will help everyone be better prepared and in the conversation.”

Alongside the Met Office’s suggestions, Met Eireann put forward the names of famous scientists, while KNMI’s suggestions were submitted by the Dutch public during visits to the forecaster throughout the year.

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Meteorologists from the three organisations name storms when they are expected to have a “medium” or “high” impact on people in the UK, Ireland or the Netherlands.

When the criteria for naming a storm are met, either the Met Office, Met Eireann or KNMI can name a storm.

It is a practice that began in 2015 in the UK and, according to the Met Office, helps to communicate the seriousness of a storm to the public and helps people recognise what steps to take.

More than 20 names were chosen for the last storm season, which had four storms – Otto, Noa, Antoni and Betty.

Otto was named by meteorologists in Denmark, while Noa was named by the French national meteorological service, Meteo France.

If other mereological agencies name storms first, then the names are adopted by the Met Office, Met Eireann and KNMI.

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