The Met Office has revealed its list of UK storm names for the autumn and winter of 2022/23.
Last winter, Storm Eunice set the new record speed for a gust of wind in England - 122mph - and tore the roof of the O2 Arena in London, while Storm Arwen saw thousands of homes in the North of England and Scotland lose power for several days.
Extreme weather events are set to become increasingly likely as the climate crisis progresses.
So, what are the names for the new UK storm season?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What are the Met Office storm names 2022/23?
The Met Office has released 21 storm names for the upcoming autumn and winter period.
Technically they last until August 2023, but the worst storm systems have usually passed by the spring.
They are named in partnership with Ireland’s weather forecaster Met Éireann and the Netherlands’ forecaster KNMI.
All of the Met Office and Met Éireann names on the list have been chosen by the general public.
Here is the list for 2022/23:
- Cillian (pronounced: KILL-ee-an)
- Hendrika (pronounced: hen-DREE-ka)
- Íde (pronounced: EE-da)
- Johanna (pronounced: yo-HAH-na)
- Loes (pronounced: l-oo-s)
- Owain (pronounced: OH-wine)
- Ruadhán (pronounced: ru-AWE-on)
- Wouter (pronounced: VOW-ter)
The letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used for names as the three European weather forecasters name storms in line with the US National Hurricane Centre naming convention
It means the letters storms take up remain consistent on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
This is important because the weather in the eastern Atlantic directly influences the weather of Ireland, the Netherlands and UK owing to the Gulf Stream.
What do the new storm names mean?
While the UK entries for the storm names list are fairly self-explanatory, the Irish and Dutch entries might seem a little unusual.
Those selected by the Dutch forecaster KNMI (Antoni, Hendrika, Johanna, Loes, Tobias and Wouter) relate to the Netherlands’ scientific pioneers.
Here is who the names relate to:
- Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632 - 1723): known as the ‘father of microbiology’, he fine tuned the use of microscopes and was the first person to document microscopic observations of bacteria, sperm and red blood cells
- Hendrika van Leeuwen (1887-1974): a physicist and first female lecturer at Dutch university TU Delft
- Johanna Westerdijk (1883 - 1961): a botanist and fungal expert who became the first female professor in the Netherlands in 1917
- Loes van Straaten (1922 - 1991): a forestry expert in post-war Netherlands
- Tobias Asser (1838 - 1913): a lawyer who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1911 for his role in establishing international legal mechanism the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in 1899
- Wouter Bleeker (1904 - 1967): a former chief of the KNMI described by the forecaster as a key figure in Dutch meteorology
What did the Met Office say about new storm names?
Introducing the new storm names, Met office head of situational awareness (a role that sets responses to severe weather events) Will Lang said: “We know from seven years of doing this that naming storms works.
“Last year, Storms Arwen and Eunice brought some severe impacts to the UK and we know that naming storms helps to raise awareness and give the public the information they need to stay safe in times of severe weather.”
A Met Office survey conducted in Storm Eunice red warning areas after the storm found 98% of people were aware of the warning, and 91% had taken action to protect themselves, their home or business.
The Met Office has collaborated with Met Éireann since 2015 and the pair welcomed KNMI into the partnership in 2019.