Storm Ciaran name meaning: Met Office's full list of storm names this year as country prepares for wind and rain

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As Storm Ciaran is due to hit the UK, here is the list of all the names of this winter's storms

The weather offices of the UK, Ireland and Holland released their storm names for this winter - and several are named after those working to protect people from severe weather around the UK. The Met Office, Met Eireann in Ireland and KNMI, the Dutch weather service jointly give names to weather events that are expected to have a “medium” or “high” impact on people in those countries.

This helps communicate the seriousness of a storm to the public and helps people recognise what steps to take, the Met Office said. The three organisations work together to compile the list of names before the following season, which runs from September to August.

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Storm Ciaran is named after a Northern Irish civil servant Ciarán Fearon. He works in the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland, with his name chosen by the Met Office for the 2023 storm list.

He said: “With the effects of climate change, we are more aware than ever of how weather can affect us all in every aspect of our daily lives. We need to respect each weather event and this work, particularly during periods of severe weather and storms, helps to ensure that we are all as well prepared as possible to help reduce the impact of such events.”

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Will Lang, head of situational awareness at the Met Office, said: “This is the ninth year of us naming storms and we do it because it works. Naming storms helps to ease communication of severe weather and provides clarity when people could be impacted by the weather.”

The public in all three countries submit suggestions for storm names, with the Met Office saying it wanted to include people working to protect the public.

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Met Eireann wanted to include names of famous scientists, such as Jocelyn, named after astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell.KNMI’s suggestions are submitted by the Dutch public during visits to the forecaster throughout the year.

Debi Garft, who recently retired as senior policy officer in the Scottish Government flooding team, is in the list of names after helping to form the Scottish Flood Forum and the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service.

She said: “It is important that we all take steps to protect ourselves, our family and property by preparing for extreme weather events. Checking the Sepa (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) flood maps to see if your property or business is at flood risk, signing up for free Sepa Floodline local flood warnings and regional flood alerts, and using the daily Scottish Flood Forecast are great first steps.”

One name on the list, Minnie, was inspired by Minnie the Minx from the Beano comic, after the inclusion of Storm Dennis in 2020. A special feature on storms is expected to appear in a Beano issue.

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Regina Simmons, who works for the Natural Resources Wales Warning and Informing team, is on the list after working to predict river and coastal flooding.

She said: “So many people think that flooding won’t happen to them. The first thing we can all do is check if our area is at risk of flooding before the rain starts to fall.”

This is the first year to break with the traditional male/female ordering of names so some of the more popular submitted names can be included, the Met Office said.

Stuart Sampson has worked for nearly 20 years managing water supplies in times of drought for the Environment Agency.

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After being included in the list, he 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. 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.”

What are the Met Office storm names 2023/24?

The Met Office has released 21 storm names for the upcoming autumn and winter period.

  • Agnes
  • Babet
  • Ciaran
  • Debi
  • Elin
  • Fergus
  • Gerrit
  • Henk
  • Isha
  • Jocelyn
  • Kathleen
  • Lilian
  • Minnie
  • Nicholas
  • Olga
  • Piet
  • Regina
  • Stuart
  • Tamiko
  • Vincent
  • Walid

They last until August 2024, but the worst storms have usually passed by the spring. They are named in partnership with Ireland’s weather forecaster Met Éireann and the Netherlands’ forecaster KNMI. Here are the storm names for autumn 2023 and winter and spring 2024

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