The recent hurricane activity in the USA and the Caribbean has provided geography teachers with some really interesting materials to work with in their classrooms, but perhaps now it time to look at weather conditions a bit nearer to home.
Last week, the Met Office released their updated list of storm names for 2017–18 – and yesterday the first named storm of the season – ‘Aileen’ – was officially recognised.
The full list of names for the coming season is as follows:
The 2017-18 list starts this time with a female name, alternating in gender from ‘Angus’ who led the way last year. Research has suggested that greater awareness and prompter response actions result from personalising storms with people’s names. A storm is given official recognition when an amber or red warning is issued by the Met Office’s National Severe Weather Warning Service (see map above), and the names for this year have once again been compiled from suggestions submitted by the general public. As in previous years, letters Q,U, X, Y and Z have not been used to comply with international storm naming conventions
I wonder how far down the new list we will need to go in 2017-18? Last winter, we only worked our way through five named storms – from Angus to Ewan. In the previous year (2015-16), just eleven storms were named. This year we have 21 to get through – do the weather people know something that we don’t
There has been some speculation that Storm Aileen might be the result of the severe weather conditions in the Caribbean and the US – but this is not the case. Our storm system originated well to the north in the Atlantic Ocean, independent of the current Caribbean hurricanes.
Tropical storms have their own naming systems, and the 2017 list is covered on this excellent graphic from the ‘mapsoftheworld’ web site: