Could ‘Abigail’ the first named storm of the winter be about to hit the UK?

Met Office winter storm names

Met Office winter storm names

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Barney, Eva and Henry are among the names we could be calling future storms affecting the UK and Ireland.

However, Quentins, Yvonnes and Zanes will be disappointed, as names starting with the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z will not be used, to give consistency with hurricane-naming in the USA.

The new conventions are intended to raise awareness of bad weather so that people take care when conditions are dangerous. In 2013 severe weather around October 28th - St Jude’s Day - was referred to as the St Jude’s storm, while in Scotland in December 2011 the Friedhelm cyclone was renamed - unofficially - as Hurricane Bawbag.

The next storm of severe enough proportions - one with the potential to cause “substantial” impact on the UK or Ireland - will be called Abagail, followed by Barney, and hopefully not all the way through to Wendy.

While the Met Office has yet to name a UK storm, many are predicting that Abagail could hit this week if storms trigger a ‘red’ or ‘amber’ warning. Last night only a yellow ‘be prepared’ alert was in place, but Met Office forecaster Sophie Yeomans warned: “Gusts in some isolated places could reach 65 to 75 mph.” Conditions are expected to be worst in south-western Scotland and northern England.

The Met Office received thousands of responses via email, Facebook and Twitter and has published the full list of potential hurricane names: Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva, Frank, Gertrude, Henry, Imogen, Jake, Katie, Lawrence, Mary, Nigel, Orla, Phil, Rhonda, Steve, Tegan, Vernon and Wendy.