Severe storms in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland will be given a name from this fall. The weather services in these countries have made agreements about this. The list of names for the coming storm season includes Dutch names such as Jan and Gerda.
The KNMI, the British weather institute UK Met Office and the Irish institute Met Éireann want to use the names to ensure that people become aware of the risks of dangerous weather.
The weather services follow the example of Germany, Spain and Portugal, among others. Storms in Europe are increasingly being given names, while it has been the custom in the United States for decades.
The idea behind cooperation with the United Kingdom and Ireland is that storms are not tied to the borders of a country. That is why it makes sense to use the same names, according to the KNMI.
Names chosen from thousands of submitted suggestions
For this fall and winter a total of 21 names were chosen from the thousands of suggestions that were submitted last summer. The weather institutes have made a selection of the most popular names and the names that reflect the diversity among the inhabitants of the countries.
The names on the list are Atiyah, Brendan, Ciara, Dennis, Ellen, Francis, Gerda, Hugh, Iris, Jan, Kitty, Liam, Maura, Noah, Olivia, Piet, Róisín, Samir, Tara, Vince and Willow. According to the KNMI, the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used due to international agreements for storm names.
The Dutch weather institute reports that the name Jan refers to weatherman Jan Pelleboer and historical geographer Jan Buisman. Kitty is named after Kittie Koperberg, a Jewish woman who joined KNMI in 1938 and died during the Second World War.
Just like in the United States, women's and men's names alternate. American researchers investigated the given names five years ago. This revealed that hurricanes with a woman's name are more deadly.
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