The unusual official storm names for 2018 and 2019 might surprise you

The unusual official storm names for 2018 and 2019 might surprise you
Storm Ali will be the next to hit the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)

Winter is coming, and so are storms Idris, Gareth and Saoirse.

The Met Office and Met Éireann (the meteorological service in the Irish Republic) have revealed the 21 storm names they will be referring to this winter, including some unusual choices.

The joint ‘Name Our Storm’ scheme has been populated by a list suggested by the public and includes the likes of Idris and Saoirse, as well as Gareth.

The full list of names includes Ali, Bronagh, Callum, Deirdre, Erik, Freya, Gareth, Hannah, Idris, Jane, Kevin, Lily, Max, Niamh, Oliver, Peggy, Ross, Saoirse, Tristan, Violet and Wyn.

Like previous years, names beginning with Q, U, X, Y and Z are not included in the list.

Stressing storm safety

Now in its fourth year, the Name Our Storms scheme aims to raise awareness of severe weather.

Saoirse Ronan, Idris Elba and Gareth Southgate
Actors Saoirse Ronan and Idris Elba and England manager Gareth Southgate, who may have inspired some storm names on the list (Photos: Shutterstock)

Derrick Ryall, Head of Public Weather Services at the Met Office, said: “Naming storms has been proven to raise awareness of severe weather in the UK, providing a consistent message to the public and crucially prompting people to take action to prevent harm to themselves or to their property.”

A recent YouGov survey found that almost 80 per cent of people questioned said that giving storms a name was useful in making them aware that the storm may have greater impacts than normal.

Preparing for the possibility of a stormy winter

Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann, added: “The last 12 months have seen some extreme weather around the globe as well as here at home.

“While it is too early to say whether the coming winter will be a stormy one or a quiet one, we are prepared with a whole new set of 21 names for whatever nature may throw at us.

“As before, Met Éireann forecasters will work in close co-operation with our colleagues from the Met Office in the UK to keep all the peoples of these islands warned of impending severe weather.”