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Saturday 21 September 2019

Going down a storm: Forecasters honour 'Love Island' star Maura

In the spotlight: ‘Love Island’s’ Maura Higgins poses for a selfie. She has now had a storm named after her following the Irish woman’s popularity in the programme. Picture: Frank McGrath
In the spotlight: ‘Love Island’s’ Maura Higgins poses for a selfie. She has now had a storm named after her following the Irish woman’s popularity in the programme. Picture: Frank McGrath

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

Met Éireann has revealed the names for storms that occur over 2019/20 - and one is called after Irish 'Love Island' star Maura Higgins.

The Irish meteorological service and the UK Met Office received thousands of suggestions from the public following a call for people to send in ideas for future storm names.

According to Evelyn Cusack, head of forecasting at Met Éireann and chair of the European Storm Naming Group, Higgins "100pc influenced the name Maura being chosen".

"The name was popular across Ireland and the UK, not just the midlands here," she said.

"She 100pc influenced the name Maura being chosen but hopefully we don't get down to Maura because that would be a lot of storms.

"The naming of storms by National Met Services as well as colour coding weather warnings provides a clear, authoritative and consistent message to the public and prompts people to take action to prevent harm to themselves or to their property.

"We are overwhelmed with the huge response to our public call for storm names - please don't be too disappointed if your name hasn't been used as you will get another chance next year."

This is the fifth year that the Met Office and Met Éireann have run the Name our Storms campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the impact of severe weather before it hits.

This year they have been joined by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), the Dutch national weather forecasting service.

The first storm named under the campaign was Storm Desmond, which famously led to Teresa Mannion's viral weather warning on RTÉ.

A storm is named by a national met service when orange or red level winds are forecast to affect a wide land area. Orange or red level gusts can occur in exposed areas without the event being named.

The storms for the season are named in alphabetical order from the 21 names chosen by the group from suggestions across Ireland and Britain.

Atiyah will be the first storm to blow in across the UK and Ireland this winter.

Also on the list of storm names for 2019-20 announced by the Met Office and Met Éireann included Ciara, Dennis, Ellen, Francis, Gerda, Noah, Piet, Samir, Willow and Olivia.

Irish Independent

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