THE names of the 21 storms that could hit Ireland and Britain over the next 12 months have been named by Met Éireann and the Met Office.
The names, which alternate from male to female, were released as part of the storm naming project by the two weather bodies yesterday, September 6.
According to Met Éireann and the Met Office, the first storm of the year will be female and will be named ‘Aileen’, which follows on from Angus in the 2016-17 season.
While 21 storms may not be anticipated for the 2017-18 season, they are pre-named to raise awareness of severe weather events.
While storms are named alphabetically, the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used to comply with international storm naming conventions.
Gerald Fleming, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann, said: "Last winter was a very quiet one weather-wise and we only worked our way through five named storms, from Angus to Ewan.
"While it is too early to say whether the coming winter will be a stormy one or a quiet one we are prepared with a whole new set of 21 names for whatever nature may throw at us.
"As before Met Éireann forecasters will work in close co-operation with our colleagues from the British Met Office to keep all the peoples of these islands warned of impending severe weather."
Derrick Ryall, Head of Public Weather Services at the Met Office, said: “Last year was another successful pilot of the storm naming project and it’s great to be now making it operational.
"Naming storms has been proved to raise awareness of severe weather in the UK, crucially prompting people to take action to prevent harm to themselves or their property.”