Hurricane Bill

Hurricane Bill, which has been troubling the east coast of the USA and Newfoundland recently, is heading our way but as it crosses the cooler waters of the Atlantic it will weaken. It is forecast to reach Ireland on Wednesday morning, track across Scotland on Wednesday afternoon and then move away towards Norway.

At this time of year it's not unusual for Atlantic tropical storms to turn into the North Atlantic and become what is termed 'extra-tropical'. The weather on Wednesday is the first such occurrence this summer. 

These storms are much less intense than hurricanes but still have the potential to bring very wet and windy weather with gales. One of the worst ex-Hurricanes to hit Britain was Hurricane Charley in August 1986. The storm caused flooding, brought down trees and power lines and ruined the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Hurricanes names are chosen from a list selected by the World Meteorological Organization. The Atlantic is assigned six lists of names, with one list used each year.

Every sixth year, the first list begins again. Each name on the list starts with a different letter, for example, the name of the very first hurricane of the season starts with the letter A, the next starts with the letter B, and so on.

The letters "Q", "U", "X", "Y" and "Z", are not used because few names begin with those letters. If more than 21 storms should occur in any season, then there is a reserve list that uses the Greek alphabet.

When an unusually destructive hurricane hits, such as Hurricane Katrina, that hurricane's name is retired and never used again.

2009 Hurricane Names
Ana
Bill
Claudette
Danny
Erika
Fred
Grace
Henri
Ida
Joaquin
Kate
Larry
Mindy
Nicholas
Odette
Peter
Rose
Sam
Teresa
Victor
Wanda

The Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and ends on November 30. This year has been one of the calmest starts to the hurricane season in a decade.

The remains of Hurricane Bill will give Wales a dose of wet and windy weather on Wednesday. Some rough seas are likely and surfers can look forward to a big swell and some decent waves but the low pressure will soon pass leaving Thursday drier and calmer with some sunshine.

Tracking Tropical Storm Bill

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