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Jocelyn is UK’s tenth named storm in five months

The furthest a storm season has reached in the alphabet is the letter K in 2016.

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Storm Jocelyn, which arrives on Tuesday, will be the tenth named storm in five months and only the second time in a UK storm season that the letter J has been reached in the alphabet.

Storm seasons run from the start of September to the end of the following August.

The first time the letter J was reached was in March 2016, with Storm Jake.

The furthest a storm season has reached in the alphabet is the letter K, when Storm Katie was named, also in March 2016.

Storms graphic
(PA Graphics)

Last year’s storm season, which ran from September 2022 to August 2023, made it only as far as the letter B, with Storm Betty in August.

By contrast, this year’s season has seen storms named in every month so far: Agnes in September 2023. Babet in October. Ciaran and Debi in November. Elin, Fergus and Gerrit in December and Henk, Isha and Jocelyn in January 2024.

It is rare, but not unheard of, for the UK to experience a sequence of storms across a handful of months.

There were 11 storms between November 2015 and March 2016, the first season in which storms were named, beginning with Abigail and ending with Katie.

And there were at least 12 major winter storms from mid-December 2013 to mid-February 2014, “the stormiest period of weather the UK has experienced for at least 20 years”, according Met Office records.

Not all of the alphabet is used when naming storms.

The letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are omitted, in line with convention established by the US National Hurricane Centre.

It means the storm names still available for the current season are Kathleen, Lilian, Minnie, Nicholas, Olga, Piet, Regina, Stuart, Tamiko, Vincent and Walid.

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