Storms in 2018/19

Storms in 2018/19

The Met Office and Met Éireann have revealed the names for storms for the coming 2018/19 season. Is your name on the list?

Names for storms in the 2018/19 season
Names for storms in the 2018/19 season

It was only Thursday 13 September when Visit Fylde Coast published the names for next year, and already we’re hearing that the first one is here!

Storm Ali will bring very strong winds to the north of England and the Fylde Coast tomorrow, Wednesday 19 September 2018.

Naming storms began in 2015, so it’s the fourth year that the ‘Name our Storms’ scheme has been jointly run by the two Met Office services.

It was the US National Hurricane Centre which established the pattern of the names alternating between male and female names, back in the 1970’s.

When the first storm of the 2018/19 season appears it will be ‘male’ and named Ali. The second will be ‘female’ and named Bronagh.

Why are Storms given a Name?

The purpose of calling storms by a name is to raise our awareness of severe weather, before it hits and while we can prepare for it.

Naming storms has helped to make people more aware of severe weather, but in a Met Office survey only one third of people said they took action at home after a warning. The purpose of the name is to make us all listen – then we can fasten windows, secure loose items outside and generally make our possessions secure. It’s also advisable to check on the safety of outdoor pets, along with checking on family and neighbours.

A storm is named on the basis of ‘medium’ or ‘high’ potential impacts from wind. It also includes the potential impacts of rain and snow. Storms will be named for weather systems which are expected to lead to an Amber or Red warning being issued by Met Éireann and/or the Met Office’s National Severe Weather Warning Service (NSWWS).

More about Naming Storms

Storms have been given names for many years. Going back to the 16th century, records show that cyclones in the Caribbean were named after saints. Then, in the 1950s the National Hurricane Centre started naming tropical cyclones. Watch this short Met Office video clip which explains more –

How storms are named

Storms visiting the Fylde Coast

The last time the Fylde Coast had particularly ferocious storms was over the winter of December 2013 and January 2014. There were two separate and very similar events only a few weeks apart. A combination of high tides, strong westerly winds and low pressure combined to create storm surges and overtopping.

One event was 5 December 2013 and the next 3 January 2014, both with exceptionally high tides. The coastline from Fleetwood to Lytham was flooded in parts when spring tides were driven to shore by the high winds.

High Tide at Blackpool. Storms of January 2014 caught by Mel Jones Photography
High Tide at Blackpool. Storms of January 2014 caught by Mel Jones Photography
High tide and big waves in storms at Blackpool North Pier. Photo from Mel Jones Photography
High tide and big waves at Blackpool North Pier. Photo from Mel Jones Photography
High tide at Blackpool Central during storms - next to Festival House. Photo from Mel Jones Photography
High tide at Blackpool Central – next to Festival House. Photo from Mel Jones Photography
High tide coming onto Blackpool Central Promenade during storms. Photo from Mel Jones Photography
High tide coming onto Blackpool Central Promenade. Photo from Mel Jones Photography. The different levels of promenade, separated by steps, are all designed to retain the tide exactly like it’s doing here. This isn’t a fault, it’s how it’s supposed to work.
High tide coming onto Blackpool Central Promenade during storms. Photo from Mel Jones Photography
High tide coming onto Blackpool Central Promenade. Photo from Mel Jones Photography. Here, the rear flood wall at the right protects the tramway and road.
High tide coming onto Blackpool Central Promenade during storms. Photo from Mel Jones Photography
High tide coming onto Blackpool Central Promenade. Photo from Mel Jones Photography

Flood Warnings and Alerts were in force for the coastline from Fleetwood to Lytham throughout the day.

Storms at Cleveleys

These photos are from the storm of 3 January 2014. Click/swipe from left to right to view the gallery.

With high tide at lunch time (12.20pm) the waves were already starting to splash over the sea wall at northern Cleveleys by 11am. Take a look at these photos of the storm in full swing at lunch time. By noon, the waves were overtopping onto the promenade and at high tide the water from the top of their crests was reaching the height of the lamp posts on North Promenade.

Storm and flooding at Cleveleys in January 2014
Storm and flooding at Cleveleys in January 2014
Storms at Cleveleys
Storms at Cleveleys
Storms at Cleveleys
Storms at Cleveleys
Storms at Cleveleys
Storms at Cleveleys
Storms at Cleveleys
Storms at Cleveleys
Cleveleys during storms of December 2013
Cleveleys during storms of December 2013

Almost an hour after high tide, the waves were still coming over the wall at Cleveleys. Take a look at this video filmed during the first storm on 5 December 2013.

Storms in Cleveleys

At Lytham the sea water reached the foot of the windmill on the Green. In central Blackpool the promenade was under water for the second time in only a few weeks. With the sea water comes a lot of sand, stones and debris to clear away. The next high tide at midnight brought a second overtopping in the same day.

One in 200 Year Storm – Photos taken in Cleveleys on 5 December 2013

On 5 December 2013, the Fylde Coast experienced a one in 200 year storm event, with high winds, a high tide and low pressure combining to create mayhem!

Storms at Cleveleys
Storms at Cleveleys
Storms at Cleveleys
Storms at Cleveleys
Storms at Cleveleys

Foam Flying During Storms

If you’ve never seen the sea foam during storms at Cleveleys it’s quite a sight.

It’s caused by decaying algae in the water. In the right conditions it whips up into a sandy froth which blows off the top of the waves and wobbles to shore. It can reach several feet in depth before collapsing to leave a dry sandy residue that is awful to wash away.

More about Cleveleys Foam here

Find out More

See the Visit Fylde Coast website homepage for more of the latest updates.

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