Here's why Storm Jorge came after Storm Dennis - and how the names are chosen

A third storm of the month is on its ways to the UK (Getty Images)A third storm of the month is on its ways to the UK (Getty Images)
A third storm of the month is on its ways to the UK (Getty Images)

The UK is bracing itself for its third storm of the month with Storm Jorge on its way following the visits of Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis.

The naming of the storm has left those aware of the Met Office's alphabetical storm-naming system scratching their heads.

Here's why the storm is called Jorge rather than Ellen.

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Why Storm Jorge and not Storm Ellen?

The storm was named by the Spanish meteorological agency on Thursday (27 Feb) and is expected to land on UK shores over the weekend.

This of course means that the name is pronounced ‘hor-hay’ rather than like ‘George’.

Those who are aware of the Met Office’s alphabetical storm-naming system may be wondering why, after Ciara and Dennis, we appear to have skipped a few letters to go straight to J.

Once one country’s meteorological agency has named a storm, it is conventional for any other country where it might arrive to continue using the same name. This makes it easier to track storms across the globe and prevents mix-ups occurring due to storms with multiple names.

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Had the Met Office named the oncoming storm, it would have been called ‘Ellen’.

Why are storms named?

Storms are named to ease communication of severe weather to the media and government agencies.

"It raises awareness of severe weather and lets the public take action to look after themselves, their property and business," Met Office spokesman Oli Claydon told i.

Naming storms is not a new phenomenon. It has been happening for hundreds of years, with records from the 16th century showing tropical cyclones in the Caribbean were named after saints.

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Since the late 1970s, storms in the Atlantic have been named with alternating male and female monikers, according to a list agreed by the World Meteorological Organisation.

But it was only in September 2015 that the Met Office and Met Eireann, the national meteorological service in Ireland, launched the Name our Storms scheme

When are storms named?

Storms are only named if they meet certain criteria. In the UK, they have to have the potential to cause disruption or damage.

They usually have an amber warning, indicating possible delays, road closures and power cuts, or a red warning, meaning there could be a risk to life. The impact of wind is the main factor taken into account but the Met Office also considers any associated rain or snow.

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Although the storm names run alphabetically, there are never any names for Q, U, X, Y and Z, meaning Stormzy fans will be disappointed.

The Met Office and Met Eireann refrain from using these letters in line with the US National Hurricane Centre. This approach, they say, will maintain consistency for official storm naming in the North Atlantic.

Full list of storm names for 2019/2020

Atiyah, Brendan, Ciara, Dennis, Ellen, Francis, Gerda, Hugh, Iris, Jan, Kitty, Liam, Maura, Noah, Olivia, Piet, Roisin, Samir, Tara, Vince and Willow.