Thursday, February 23, 2017

What's in a name?

Up in the UK and northern France, there's a storm blowing through today. We'll only see minor effects down here in the Centre, some not-too-bad wind gusts and a little rain later in the day. On French television, the weather people are calling the storm "Thomas." But, on the UK news sites (like Sky), the storm is being called "Doris." I can't figure out if there are two storms or if it's just two names for the same storm. And if it's two names, why?

Last Sunday's sunrise over the vineyards with frosty grass. It's much warmer, and overcast, now.

As I said, we're just being brushed by the southern edge of the system, so it'll be breezy here today with some gusts, nothing threatening. And it should all be winding down by the time Ken's plane flies in early Friday morning. If anything, he'll have a good tail wind and might possibly land early.


  1. The French wouldn't understand what an angry Doris would be like....
    and I doubt if it is comprehensible in any other country than England.... even Scots are wondering why?

  2. I just saw it referred to in the UK as Doris Day. Thomas Day just doesn't cut it!

  3. You're wondering why today's storm has different names in different countries made me wonder as well. I came across this explanation:

    Apparently today's storm is called Thomas in Germany. Germany gives names to all low pressure areas as well as high pressure areas. Which is which changes every year. To start with, low pressure areas were given female names and high pressure ones male names. This however, resulted in lots of complaints as female names were linked to negative weather systems. Nowadays, gender names are swapped every year. This year male names are used to refer to low pressure, hence Thomas.

    Also, and still in Germany, a storm can be adopted for a fee of EUR 299 for a high pressure one and EUR 199 for a low pressure one. This fee is then donated to charity. Today's storm was adopted by Thomas Goram. The last 'female' high pressure area, dates from 23 January; it was adopted by and named after Doris Hildebrandt.

    The British name for the same gale is Doris. No connection to Ms Hildebrandt. In the UK you can't name a storm after yourself (or your ex for that matter), but you can suggest a name. Last year 10,000 name suggestions were made of which 21 were actually chosen. The names are then given to storms in alphabetical order. Earlier this year storm Barbara passed, followed by storm Conor. Today's storm is called Doris en the next one will be named Ewan.

  4. tim, I'm afraid you've lost me... :)

    mitch, watch out for Rock!

    elgee, fascinating! Thanks!

  5. Walt, Doris was a very common Christian name in the interWar years.... especially in London, where I grew up. It was therefore given to a 'toon character in the then London Evening Standard.... a tea lady in an office... and she had a temper, a very nasty temper!! She 'ran' the office from the tea-cart....withholding biscuits, supplying cold'ish tea, putting the tea down with a thump so that most went into the saucer, etc., etc....
    So, that's what a 'Storm Doris' conjours up in my mind!


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