How are storms named and what will the next one be called? Full list of Met Office storms

The naming of storms can seem trivial but the system, which has been in place in the UK since 2015, is actually in place to protect people and property – here’s everything you need to know ahead of storm Dudley

Storm Barra (pictured) smashed into the UK in December 2021
Storm Barra (pictured) smashed into the UK in December 2021

Mid-winter in the UK can see some pretty ropey weather, but for all of Britain’s famous gray drizzle more serious storm events are common.

Now, forecasters are warning of more extreme events on the horizon, as the next two names on this year’s storm alphabet are due to smash into the UK later this week with warnings of ‘significant disruption’.

So far, since this year’s storm name cycle began in September, we’ve already seen a number of major weather events that warranted official titles.

On the November 26, Storm Arwen arrived on 110 mph winds and claimed the lives of three people while storm Barra on December 7 caused damage to property with 80mph winds.

Storm Malik was the first storm of 2022, making an impact on January 29 and just two days later storm Corrie followed.

Here’s what the Met Office has to say about its storm naming system, what it does and how the process is carried out.

When do storm names get announced?

Strong winds in Glasgow city center in 2020


AFP via Getty Images)

The Met office launched Name Our Storms in 2015, with a new list of names getting issued every September.

The list for that year will run until late August the following year, which marks the start of autumn and the arrival of low-pressure weather systems likely to bring with it name-worthy storms.

Why do storms get named?

The aim behind naming storms is to try and provide a single, authoritative label for an event that can help people communicate clearly about it.

Clear communication can make all the difference in a crisis, and so the hope of the naming system is to contribute to keeping people and property as safe as possible in the face of extreme weather.

How does a storm get named?

Waves crash against the lighthouse in Seaham Harbour, County Durham in January, 2022.



Storms are named by either the Met Office, Ireland’s Met Éireann or the Netherland’s KNMI depending on which outfit declares the storm to warrant an amber or red warning.

The Met Office flags a storm using the National Severe Weather Warnings service, which looks at the potential impact of weather events and the likelihood of such events actually occurring.

Why are there no storms beginning with Q, U, X, Y and Z?

The Met Office says that no storms have names beginning with Q, U, X, Y and Z to keep in line with the United States’ forecasting procedure.

This consistency is in place because the UK and the US both have coasts on the Atlantic Sea and so can be impacted by the same storms. Following the same system as America means that names on the North Atlantic can be done consistently across both countries.

The United States’ National Hurricane Center, or NHC, is tasked with naming tropical cyclones, a job it has had since 1953 and is overseen by the World Meteorological Organization.

The system for Hurricanes is a little different to storm naming in the UK, with six lists on rotation meaning that a hurricane could have the same name if it occurs six years apart.

The names of particularly storms can be retired from their list and replaced with something else and if more than 21 hurricanes happen in a year, then their name will be taken from the Greek alphabet.

How do storm names get chosen?

In the UK, the Met Office chose the current list of storm names by asking the public to send in suggestions. The forecasters report they received thousands of suggestions, and also put in suggestions from their colleagues at Met Éireann and KNMI.

They say the names aim to reflect the diversity of Britain, Ireland the Netherlands.

What will the next storm be called?

The next storm in the UK will be called Dudley, with storm Corrie having taken place in January earlier this year. After that, storm Eunice will be the next storm name to hit the UK.

Read on for the full list of names storms would be given if they are to happen:

  • Arwen 27 November 2021
  • Bar 8 December 2021
  • Malik January 2022
  • Run 31 January 2022
  • dudley
  • Eunice
  • franklin
  • Gladys
  • Herman
  • Imani
  • Jack
  • kim
  • Logan
  • Meabh
  • Nasim
  • Olwen
  • Pol
  • Ruby
  • Sean
  • Tineke
  • Vergil
  • willemien

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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