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Who’s been branding our storms?

They are nature unleashed! They are the unfettered power of the elements! They're the gods showing their contempt for the puny works of men! Yep, no doubt, storms are pretty awesome.

Since 2013, all major UK and Irish winter storms have been named by the Met Office and Met Éireann. Each name has been carefully selected to capture the sheer drama, the brooding romance of an unpredictably threatening and mightily monstrous weather event. Or so you'd expect.

Let's look at some of the names that we actually got in 2015-2017:

  • Storm Nigel
  • Storm Gertrude
  • Storm Steve
  • Storm Doris
  • Storm Natalie

They're an interesting set of choices. Interesting in their fundamental uninterestingness. Our favourite is Storm Natalie — we mean, really? Not that we have anything against Natalie. It's a perfectly nice name. But it's not particularly, well, stormy, is it?


He wouldn't name a storm 'Natalie'. Even though he's co-starring with one.

It all makes us question whether the good people at the Met Office and Met Éireann have thought these issues through. Who's in charge of branding our storms? How much time are they spending on it? Are they doing their utmost to reflect the essence of each storm's character?

Maybe the Met Office are being coolly ironic - like when you call your vicious doberman 'Flopsy'. Or maybe they figure that prosaic names are less likely to alarm the populace. For example, Storm Steve sounds really quite friendly. He's the sort of storm who'd come round and take a look at your brakes for you, rather than smash your house into rubble.

At any rate, we think it's time to rethink the strategy. We want storms afforded a little more gravitas, to be granted a bit more respect. And with that in mind, we humbly suggest the following themes for naming new winter storms.

1. Names alluding to destructive potential:

Storm Shatter, Storm Havoc, Storm Ruination, Storm Carnage

2. Named after Norse deities and monsters:

Storm Odin, Storm Fenrir, Storm Hel, Storm Ragnarok

3. Named after Heavy Metal bands:

Storm Metallica, Storm Megadeth, Storm Anthrax, Storm Steps*

(*I think they were Heavy Metal. Don't forget to check before we publish - Ed)

There, Storm Odin. That's much more like it. Names to impress. Names to get your teeth into. If the Met Office really want people to take notice of approaching storms, we think they should take heed. Our door is open, and we're ready to open creative discussions.

In the meantime, if you have the sneaking suspicion that your branding doesn't match what you're all about, we'd love to help. Give us a call.

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