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STORM-NAMING: OPERATIONALPROCEDURESand FAQ

Introduction

This document gives guidance on when and how 'storms' will be named as part ofthe joint Met
Office/Met Eireann Storm-Naming pilot scheme Autumn/Winter 15/16. It is aimed primarily at
Guidance Unit staff, but will also be of use to PWSAdvisors, the Press Office and Media Unit
Meteorologists.

In short, the naming scheme is designed to give greater public awareness of warnings for medium-
and high-impact windstorms affecting the UK and/or Ireland, and to enhance o~r 'authoritative
voice' on severe weather. It is not intended to affect current responder procedures, which will
remain based on NSWWS warnings supplemented by Advisor support. Nor is it intended to ensure
alignment ofthe separate UK and Ireland warning services, though greater mutual understanding
will result from the dialogue created via the storm-naming scheme.

Following the recent press releases and social media campaigns, a joint list of storm names is being
'agreed using names common to Britain and Ireland, carefully selected from amongst those
submitted by the public. The same list will be used by both organisations

Procedures

1. Guidance Unit meteorologists to identify a cyclonic development whose wind impacts have
potential to affect the UK, usually in the Medium Range period.
2. Assess potential impacts and assign a matrix position accordingly - ie the usual risk
assessment for NSWWS warnings.
3. If the assessed impacts fall primarily within the 'medium' or 'severe' impacts columns of the
risk matrix and it is decided to issue a warning then the system should be named. Note that
this means that all AMBER (ORANGEin the Irish system) and REDwarning wind events will
be named, along with some YELLOWwarning events (ie those with low or very low likelihood
of 'medium' impacts).
4. The exception to the above is when the system is an Ex-Tropical Storm, in which case its 'Ex-
TS' will still be used instead, 'as has become common in recent years.
5. Ring the Met Eireann Senior Forecaster (number below) to discuss our intention to name the
system. If time, it may be advantageous to compare model data/interpretation of the
system and its potential impacts.
6, Even when a storm is named, we do not require warnings to be issued by both NMSs. There
will be times when Met Eireann issues warnings and we don't, and vice versa.
7. Once there is agreement between Met Office and Met Eireann over which name to use (ie
the next on the list) and it is clear between both parties exactly which potential event is
being named, this name should be communicated to the following: Met Eireann forecaster,
the on-call PWSAdvisor, the Press Office (or on-cali), the Media Advisor and PWSAberdeen.
Names should not be used without prior cross-check/acknowledgement with Met Eireann.
8. Names are not required on charts. And for at least the initial stages of the pilot, there is no
need to use the name in NSWWS text - though this may change in the future.
9. As with the usual warning process, the naming discussion and final decision is ideally
undertaken during the morning on the day shift, usually following guidance and
recommendations for warnings passed from the preceding night shift. But it can take place
at any time if required.
10. Met Eireann will have a similar risk assessment process and will sometimes wish to name a
storm before we do. They will be provided with our contact details for when they wish to
name a storm or share information/interpretation pertaining to potential named storms.

FAQs

1. What kind of systems will be named?

This scheme is focussed on large-scale, cyclonic windstorms with potential for significant
land-based wind impacts - often systems which develop rapidly and/or move quickly
towards us. We have not precisely defined these systems at present, as the assumption is
that 'we'll know one when we see one'.

Note that - as with warnings - we will name based on potential for a disruptive event.
Particularly in the medium-range there may be a large variety of solutions, and so our
warningsjnames will be issued based on the probability of impacts rather than picking one
particular 'storm' from the ensemble of solutions. This also means that we may occasionally
name storms which prove to have little impacts, or even do not develop at all. In this case,
the name can continue to be used for the weaker system if required, and the next storm will
be named using the next name on the list.

2. Does it matter that Met Eireann's warning process is not exactly the same as ours?

No. They are fairly similar but not identical. Met Eireann are increasingly using a risk-based
approach (ie with an impact matrix), but there is still a greater use of thresholds in the Irish
system and they will perhaps be more likely to issue warnings based on these thresholds, for
example in exposed western coastal areas. There are also differences in working practices
with respect to lead-times; we presently are perhaps more likely to issue warnings at long
lead-times (such as for the St Jude's storm). But remember also that our respective impact-
assessments will differ too. We don't require the warnings themselves to be consistent
between UK and Ireland; all we are aiming for is consistency of underlying message (in
particular the meteorological probabilities), after which our interpretation in terms of
impacts may vary.

3. How will names be used for 'dual warning' events?

To qualify for naming, usually a 'dual element' event (wind plus eg rain) would have to have
potential for medium/severe impacts through wind alone. Though as for the warnings, we
may choose to flex this on occasion to give our messaging greater reach and impact.

4. What about other impacts?

The pilot scheme considers land-based wind impacts only, as for NSWWS wind warnings
(though, like the warnings, ferry disruption may be factored into the assessment of impacts).
Obviously other impacts can result from windstorms, including coastal disruption due to
surge and large waves. These additional effects are out of scope of the pilot scheme.

Useful Information

• Met Eireann forecast des_
• Current list of storms (link tbc)

._ September 2015

./

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