Meteorologists from the UK and Ireland have announced that some of the upcoming season's storms will be named in tribute to individuals who work tirelessly to safeguard the public from severe weather conditions.
This initiative is a collaboration between the Met Office, Met Eireann, and the Dutch weather service, KNMI.
The practice of naming storms, which has been ongoing for nine years, is not just a tradition. According to Will Lang, the head of situational awareness at the Met Office, naming storms plays a crucial role in effectively communicating the potential severity of a storm to the public. This, in turn, helps individuals understand the necessary precautions to take.
Every year, the three meteorological organizations come together to curate a list of storm names for the season, which spans from September to August. The public from the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands are also invited to submit their suggestions for storm names. This year, the Met Office expressed a desire to honour those who work relentlessly to shield the public from the adverse effects of severe weather.
Among those honoured with a storm name is Ciarán Fearon from Northern Ireland's Department of Infrastructure. Fearon's role involves disseminating information about river levels and potential coastal flooding. Speaking about the importance of weather awareness, Fearon emphasized the increasing impact of climate change on daily life and the need for preparedness during extreme weather events.
Another notable inclusion in the list is Northern Ireland's astrophysicist, Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell. She is renowned for her discovery of the first pulsating radio stars in 1967. Expressing her gratitude for the recognition, Professor Bell Burnell hoped that any potential storm named after her would serve as a constructive force rather than a destructive one. She further highlighted the significance of scientific advancements in enhancing our understanding of the world.