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Storm Ali first to batter Ireland after new names revealed


Met Eireann’s head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack

Met Eireann’s head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack

Met Eireann’s head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack

Ali will be the first storm to blow across Ireland this winter, according to the new list of names for this year's strongest weather systems.

Also on the list of names for 2018-2019 announced by Met Eireann and the UK's Met Office are Bronagh, Callum and Deirdre, while a particularly stormy winter could see storms Saoirse, Tristan, Violet and Wyn batter Ireland and the UK.

It is the fourth year of the Name Our Storms scheme, which aims to raise awareness of severe weather before it hits.

The names have been compiled from a list of submissions by the public, choosing some of the most popular names and also selecting those that reflect culture and diversity.

Starting with Ali, an alternating pattern of female and male names is used. It was established by the US National Hurricane Centre in the 1970s, with the exception of letters Q, U, X, Y and Z to comply with international storm-naming conventions.


Polling found almost 80pc of people think giving storms a name was useful in making them aware the severe weather may have more impact than normal, while 63pc said it was useful in them taking action.

"The last 12 months saw some extreme weather around the globe as well as here at home," said Met Eireann head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack.

"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."

The 2017-2018 season started with Storm Aileen, the first severe weather event to be named, and ended with Hector earlier this summer.

"Naming storms has been proved to raise awareness of severe weather, providing a consistent message to the public and, crucially, prompting people to take action to prevent harm to themselves or to their property," said the Met Office's head of public weather services Derrick Ryall.

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