Unlike their American counterparts, British storms don’t often get named and are instead usually known by their dates, such as the Great Storm of 1987. As there was no official naming system, some storms ended up getting multiple names by different forecasters. But that’s now all about to change.
When the Met Office, the UK’s national weather service, called on the British public to name future storms via its #nameourstorms campaign, it received thousands of submissions from Twitter, Facebook, and email.
It quickly became clear that the results were going to be somewhat odd—and incredibly British. The results are in and the full list of names include Gertrude, Nigel, and Vernon.
The Met Office will name a storm if it poses a significant risk to the public and will go down this list alphabetically. The list includes both female and male names, though previous research has shown that major storms like hurricanes with feminine names are less likely to be taken seriously.
Brits will first have to brace themselves for Storm Abigail, followed by Storm Barney. By naming these storms, the Met Office hopes it’ll increase awareness of severe weather and encourage more people to follow safety guidelines.