London weather: The truth behind claims Storm Ellen and Francis are about to hit London – MyLondon



Over the last two weekends London has been hit by two pretty awful storms.

Ciara battered the capital and the rest of the country, followed by Storm Dennis a week later.

They both caused widespread destruction and disruption – damaging roofs, blocking train lines and blowing away a seemingly endless amount of trampolines.

So when rumours began circulating of another two named storms coming our way everyone was rightly worried.

They were going to be called Storm Ellen and Storm Francis.

But while the Met Office has certainly named these future storms, the forecaster is not currently predicting another bout of imminent bad weather.

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There are some weather warnings in place for the north of the UK over the weekend, but there has been no indication that any storm will develop.

The Met Office long range forecast reads: “Unsettled and often windy conditions are expected to continue with areas of rain moving east across the UK interspersed with brighter, showery interludes.

“Rain is likely to be heaviest across western and northwestern areas, especially over the hills, with the best of any more prolonged drier interludes in the south and east.

“Hail and thunder are also possible in the showery interludes with snow at times over northern hills. Temperatures will generally be around average, but above in the south.

“Some brief quieter, colder spells are also possible later in the period, especially in southern and eastern areas, these bringing some overnight frost and patchy fog in places. Elsewhere will continue to see spells of wet and windy weather.”

However, Steve Willington, a chief forecaster at the Met Office, added: “Storm Dennis has long gone, but the legacy of high water levels and saturated catchments remain.

“Although the forecast for the next few days indicates that conditions won’t be as severe, any additional rainfall could create further challenges as river catchments are more likely to respond to extra rainfall more quickly.

“Flooding, especially in areas already heavily affected, remains a possibility.”

Why do we name storms?

The weather service decided to start naming storms in alphabetical order back in 2014, in the hope that doing so would make people more aware of their potentially devastating impacts.

It said following the progress of each storm would be easier on the TV, radio and on social media if they were referred to by name.

A landslide caused by Storm Ciara
(Image: Network Rail)

According to the Met Office, the criteria for naming storms is based on the National Severe Weather Warnings service, which considers the impact the weather may have, and the likelihood of those impacts occurring.

A storm is then named when it has the potential to cause an amber or red warning.

The first windstorm to be named was Abigail on November 10, 2015 and the naming process has continued for each season since.

Those chosen for 2020 were revealed by the Met Office in September 2019.

Here’s the full list:

Atiyah Brendan Ciara Dennis Ellen Francis Gerda Hugh Iris Jan Kitty Liam Maura Noah Olivia Piet Roisin Samir Tara Vince Willow
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Is there a story you think MyLondon should be covering? Please get in touch at charlie.jones@reachplc.com