Nigel and Steve among new storm names

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Barney, Desmond, Steve, Tegan and Wendy are among the names chosen by members of the public to identify future storms affecting the UK and Ireland.

The Met Office announced the results after receiving thousands of responses via email, Facebook and Twitter.

It is hoped that naming storms will help raise awareness of severe weather and ensure people protect themselves.

A storm will be named when it is deemed potentially able to cause "substantial" impact on the UK or Ireland.

The full list of names chosen for future selection are: Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva, Frank, Gertrude, Henry, Imogen, Jake, Katie, Lawrence, Mary, Nigel, Orla, Phil, Rhonda, Steve, Tegan, Vernon and Wendy.

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They will be taken from the list, in alphabetical order, alternating between male and female names, meaning the next severe storm will be known as Storm Abigail, followed by Storm Barney.

There is a name for each letter of the alphabet, excluding Q, U, X, Y and Z, which is the same naming convention as used in the US to help maintain consistency for North Atlantic storms.

Experts have found that attaching a name to a weather event makes it easier to follow its progress and simpler to reference on social media.

Severe weather in October 2013 was referred to as the St Jude's storm as it was due to arrive on St Jude's day.

image copyrightEben Owen

Derrick Ryall, head of the public weather service at the Met Office, said at the time the name search was announced in September: "We have seen how naming storms elsewhere in the world raises awareness of severe weather before it strikes.

"We hope that naming storms in line with the official severe weather warnings here will do the same and ensure everyone can keep themselves, their property and businesses safe and protected at times of severe weather."

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