Nine people have been killed and schedule of flights, trains and ferries across Western Europe disrupted due to powerful storm Eunice, which pummeled Britain with record-breaking winds. Buildings were damaged in the Netherlands too due to the storm.
London is under its first ever “red” weather warning, meaning there was “danger to life”. The highest weather alerts have been declared across southern England, South Wales and the Netherlands.
How Did Storm Eunice Get Its Name?
The naming of the storm is done by the UK Met Office, which started the system in 2015. The forecasters in Ireland and the Netherlands later joined in. The storms are named to make people aware of the potential impacts of severe weather.
Eunice is the fifth named storm of the season, which began with Arwen in November last year.
According to the BBC, the Met Office asks the public to suggest names and a new list is published every year, which runs from September to late August the following year.
The full list of storm names for this year is: Arwen, Barra, Corrie, Dudley, Eunice, Franklin, Gladys, Herman, Imani, Jack, Kim, Logan, Méabh, Nasim, Olwen, Pól, Ruby, Seán, Tineke, Vergil, Willemien.
When Is A Storm Named?
According to the Met Office, weather phenomenon like storm is given a name when it is expected to cause medium of high impacts, or has the potential to cause an amber or red alert, like in the case of Eunice.
Important Thing To Note While Naming Storms
The UK Met Office skips the alphabets Q,U,X,Y or Z while naming a storm. This is done to avoid a clash with US hurricane naming conventions.
Why Storm Eunice Is So Severe?
According to the UK weather department, Eunice bears a striking similarity to the “Great Storm” of 1987, which unleashed hurricane-force winds and claimed 22 lives across Britain and France in October of that year.
Both are predicted to contain a “sting jet” – a small, narrow airstream that can form inside a storm and produce intense winds over an area smaller than 100 km.
Sting jets, which were first discovered in 2003, can last anywhere between one and 12 hours. They are difficult to forecast and relatively rare, but make storms more dangerous.
Impact of Storm Eunice
Eunice’s winds knocked out power to more than 140,000 homes in England, mostly in the southwest, and 80,000 properties in Ireland, news agency AFP reported.
Around London, three people were taken to hospital after suffering injuries in the storm, and a large section of the roof on the Millennium Dome was shredded by the gales.
One wind gust of 122 miles (196 kilometres) per hour was measured on the Isle of Wight off southern England, “provisionally the highest gust ever recorded in England”, the Met Office said.
Dozens of homes were evacuated in The Hague amid fears a church steeple could collapse. Footage showed the steeple wobbling and a large piece of debris falling on a car.