A history of UK named storms

14th June 2018 Last updated at 16:17

In 2015, the Met Office and Met Eireann started a joint initiative to name storms in order to raise public awareness of severe weather.

A storm is given a name when it has the potential to cause "medium" or "high" impacts across the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland. As well as wind, impacts from rain and snow are also considered in deciding if a storm should be named.

List of Met Office and Met Eireann storm names for 2017/2018
BBC

In the three years since 2015 there have been 26 named storms, including Storm David which was named by Meteo France and ex-hurricane Ophelia which was named by the National Hurricane Center.

Here's a look back at all the named storms to impact the UK over the last three years:

2015/2016

STORM ABIGAIL

The first named storm after the initiative was launched in September 2015, Abigail hit the UK on the 12th and 13th November. Heavy rain and strong winds swept across the UK but it was north west Scotland which bore the brunt of the strongest winds with South Uist in the Outer Hebrides reporting a gust of 84mph. More than 20,000 homes were left without power in Scotland and a number of schools were closed.

Large waves crash into the harbour at Saltcoats, Ayrshire. Picture taken by Weather Watcher Sylvan.
BBC
BBC Weather Watcher 'Sylvan' captured huge waves crashing into the harbour at Saltcoats on 12th November 2015.

STORM BARNEY

Less than a week after Abigail, Storm Barney hit the UK on the 17th and 18th November. This time it was Wales and the Midlands which saw the most severe impacts with around 3,000 homes left without electricity in Derbyshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire and 6,000 homes in Wales. Whilst wind gusts of 85mph were reported in Aberdaron, North Wales and 68mph in Crosby, Lancashire, fallen trees caused rail and road disruption across the country.

Large waves from Storm Barney hit Neath, Port Talbot on 17th November 2015.
BBC
Large waves from Storm Barney hit Neath, Port Talbot on 17th November 2015. Picture taken by BBC Weather Watcher mikecadoxton

STORM CLODAGH

Clodagh was named by Met Eireann on 29th November and it brought gusts of more than 70mph across the Republic of Ireland with more than 3,500 homes left without electricity. Similar gusts were recorded across Wales and northern England with High Bradfield, South Yorkshire reporting a gust of 97mph. Once again, fallen trees and power lines brought disruption on roads and railways.

STORM DESMOND

Flooded streets in Cockermouth, Cumbria after heavy rain from Storm Desmond.
BBC
Cockermouth in Cumbria saw severe floods on 5th December 2015 from Storm Desmond. This picture is courtesy of BBC Weather Watcher Cruisa

This powerful storm brought not only severe gales but also record-breaking rainfall for Cumbria on the 5th and 6th December, and a rare red warning was issued by the Met Office. Honister Pass recorded 341.4mm of rain in 24 hours, a new record, and Thirlmere broke the 48-hour record with 405mm rainfall in just 38 hours. More than 5,200 homes in Cumbria and Lancashire were flooded as were many major roads across Scotland and Northern England. There was also severe disruption to train services across northern England after a landslide closed the line between Preston and Carlisle. Wind gusts widely exceeded 70mph with Capel Curig, Gwynedd recording a gust of 81mph.

STORM EVA

Severe floods in the Lledr Valley, Conwy
BBC
Storm Eva brought major flooding during the Chrismas period in 2015. This picture from BBC Weather Watcher Wayne Shakell shows the extent of the flooding in the Lledr Valley, Conwy.

Hitting the UK on Christmas Eve, the fifth named storm of the season brought more torrential rain and gales to Ireland, north west Scotland and north west England which exacerbated the flooding across Cumbria from Storm Desmond earlier in the month. Gusts of 83mph were recorded at Capel Curig, Gwynedd and impacts were felt further south too with a gust of 74mph recorded at the Needles on the Isle of Wight. More frontal systems swept across the UK on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, prompting the Met Office to issue another red warning for heavy rain across Lancashire and Yorkshire.

STORM FRANK

With gusts widely in excess of 75mph and reaching 85mph in South Uist, Outer Hebrides, Storm Frank brought severe gales to north west Scotland on 29th and 30th December 2015. Heavy rain associated with the storm also brought more flooding across the UK.

STORM GERTRUDE

After six storms in a little over six weeks we waited a month before the seventh named storm arrived on 29th January 2016. The impacts from Gertrude were widely felt across Scotland and northern England with a Met Office red warning issued for storm force winds across Orkney and Shetland. A gust of 105mph was reported at Lerwick.

STORM HENRY

Hot on the heels of Gertrude, Storm Henry hit the UK on the 1st and 2nd of February 2016 bringing further gales and heavy rain. Scotland saw the strongest winds with South Uist, Outer Hebrides recording a gust of 90mph. There was widespread travel disruption to ferries, trains and roads across Scotland with both the Tay Road and Forth Road Bridges closing.

STORM IMOGEN

Whilst impacts from earlier named storms had been felt across the south of the UK, Storm Imogen on 8th February 2016 was the first named storm to bring widespread disruption to south Wales and southern England. A 96mph gust was reported at the Needles Old Battery on the Isle of Wight and 81mph at St Mary's, Isle of Scilly. Fallen trees and overturned vehicles caused widespread travel delays and more than 3,000 homes were left without power in south west England. There were also numerous reports of damage to properties.

STORM JAKE

South west England and south Wales saw the strongest winds from Storm Jake which arrived on 2nd March 2016. Mace Head, Devon recorded a gust of 83mph with the Channel Islands also seeing gusts of just under 70mph. Fallen trees, power cuts and roof damage were widely reported..

STORM KATIE

The final storm of the 2015/2016 season hit the south of the UK on Easter Monday bringing heavy rain and severe gales for the end of the Easter weekend. There were widespread gusts of 50-70mph inland, 70-80mph along the south coast with the Needles Old Battery recording a gust of 106mph. Flights, ferries and trains were cancelled and more than 100,000 homes were left without power for a short time.

2016/17

STORM ANGUS

Compared to the previous year, 2016/17 was a little quieter with only five named storms. The first was Storm Angus which arrived on 29th November 2016. South and south west England were the main areas affected by heavy rain and severe gales. Gusts widely exceeded 70mph along the south coast; Guernsey recorded the highest gust of 84mph. Many coastal areas saw damage from huge waves, including the sea wall at Swanage, and the railway line near Exeter was closed due to flooding. Meanwhile, in the English Channel, a ferry became stranded for 26 hours and a barge collided with a cargo ship.

STORM BARBARA

Barbara arrived shortly before Christmas 2016 on the 23rd December and whilst much of the country saw some wet and windy weather, it was the north and north west of Scotland which saw the greatest impacts which lasted through to Christmas Eve. A gust of 83mph was recorded at Sella Ness, Shetland and 78mph at Sule Skerry, Orkney. Train, buses and ferries were disrupted and more than 100 schools in Highland were closed.

STORM CONOR

We barely paused for breath after Barbara before Storm Conor arrived on Christmas Day 2016. Once again northern Scotland and the Northern Isles saw the most severe gales with Sella Ness, Shetland recording a gust of 94mph. The strength of the storm left many without power on Christmas Day.

STORM DORIS

There were Met Office warnings for wind, rain and snow on 23rd February 2017 as Storm Doris arrived in the UK. Heavy snow across Scotland brought major roads to a standstill, there were gusts of 94mph at Capel Curig, Gwynedd and both the Dartford Crossing and the Port of Liverpool were forced to close for a time.

STORM EWAN

The last storm of the 2016/17 season was named by Met Eireann and brought some very strong winds to the Republic of Ireland on 26th February.

2017/2018

STORM AILEEN

The first named storm of 2017/18 arrived a few months earlier compared to the previous two years with Aileen hitting the UK on 12 and 13th September. Strong winds and heavy rain affected much of England and Wales with gusts widely between 55-65mph. The Isle of Wight saw the strongest winds with gusts at the Needles Old Battery reaching 84mph and Mumbles, Wales recording 74mph.

EX-HURRICANE OPHELIA

Named by the US National Hurricane Center, Ophelia arrived in the UK on the 16th October bringing gusts of 90mph to both Aberdaron and Capel Curig in Gwynedd and 97mph in Roches Head, Cork. Three people were killed by falling trees in the Republic of Ireland and thousands of homes in Northern Ireland and Wales were without power.

STORM BRIAN

Less than a week after ex-hurricane Ophelia, Storm Brian hit the UK on 21st October 2017. The severe gales associated with the storm coincided with high tides bringing flash flooding across parts of Ireland. Whilst the main impacts were across Wales and Ireland with gusts of 70-80mph, the strongest gust (85mph) was recorded on the Isle of Wight.

STORM CAROLINE

The north of Scotland bore the brunt of Storm Caroline on the 7th December 2017. Fair Isle recorded a gust of 93mph and Baltasound, Shetland saw a gust of 83mph. A cold north-westerly airflow behind the storm brought frequent snow showers late on the 7th December and into the following day which caused disruption across parts of Wales, Northern Ireland, northern England and the Isle of Man.

STORM DYLAN

With widespread gusts of 58mph across the UK on the 30th and 31st December, Storm Dylan brought 2017 to a windy and disruptive end. Fallen trees were reported in SW England and Northern Ireland whilst snow and ice caused some travel problems across parts of the Pennines. The highest wind gust was recorded on Cairngorm Summit where it reached 94mph.

STORM ELEANOR

Closely following on from Storm Dylan, Eleanor brought severe gales on 2nd and 3rd January 2018. Great Dun Fell in Cumbria recorded a gust of 100mph and there were widespread gusts of 60-70mph along the coasts. An unusually high gust of 72mph was recorded at Northolt, West London. Lots of disruption was reported, including fallen trees, damage to property, power cuts and also part of the harbour wall collapsing at Portreath, Cornwall.

STORM FFION

Named by Met Eireann, Storm Ffion brought very strong winds to the Republic of Ireland on 16th January. Mace Head, Galway recorded a gust of 85mph.

STORM DAVID

Storm David arrived in the UK on the 18th January after battering parts of northern Europe where it was named by Meteo France. The main impacts were felt across Wales and central and southern England where even inland areas saw gusts of 58mph, including London. The highest gust recorded was 93mph at Capel Curig followed by 83mph at Tibenham, Norfolk. Rail services were disrupted and more than 100,000 homes were left without power.

STORM GEORGINA

Met Eireann named Storm Georgina on the 23rd Georgina on 23rd January and it hit the UK on 24th January bringing widespread coastal gusts of 60-70mph. Across the tops of the Scottish mountains winds were gusting close to 115mph, which combined with further snowfall made for some very difficult conditions. Whilst the strongest winds were felt across northern Scotland, Capel Curig in Gwynedd recorded a gust of 83mph.

STORM HECTOR

A late season storm arrived in the UK on the evening of 13th June and brought gales across Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern England into 14th June including a gust of 100mph at Great Dun Fell in Cumbria. Fallen trees and power lines brought travel disruption and a number of ferry services were cancelled.