STORM Aileen battered parts of the UK last night bringing gusts of up to 75mph and leaving thousands without power.
But why ‘Aileen’?
How are storms named, and why?
The naming of storms in other parts of the world has been common practice for decades.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma recently buffeted parts of the US, and the naming of tropical cyclones can be traced back to Australian meteorologist Clement Wragge, who first named them between 1887 and 1907.
But the naming of British storms is a new phenomenon, with the Met Office bringing in a system in response to the St. Jude’s Day storm of October 2013, which killed 17 people across the continent.
Their intention was a single, authoritative naming arrangement to prevent confusion with the media and public using different names for the same storms. The first storm to be named was Abigail in November 2015.
Like the model for naming hurricanes, the genders of the storms alternate, with the ‘sex’ of the first storm of each year also alternating.
Aileen - the first named storm of the 2017-18 season - follows Angus, the first named storm of last year.
A storm is named on the basis of ‘medium’ or ‘high’ impacts from wind, but also takes into account the possible impact of rain and snow.
Storms will usually be named for weather systems for which the Met Office expects to have to issue an Amber or Red weather warning.
The full list of storm names for 2017/18: