Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Why are we talking about a storm called Doris?


There’s a good chance that, at some point today, you’ve had at least a brief conversation with someone about that bastard Storm Doris that is currently wreaking havoc on British shores.

We’ve had Barbara, we’ve had Conor and now it’s Doris – each storm seemingly more pissed off than the last.

But have you ever wondered how these furious ‘weather bombs’ come to acquire their (definitely ridiculous) names? After all, any human Doris you know is likely to be a pleasant old lady who can talk at length about a particularly fiendish crossword clue, so why are we naming 80mph gusts of wind after her?

Doris 2

Since 2015, The Met Office, alongside Ireland’s Met Éireann, have been running an initiative that began with them essentially crowdsourcing a big list of names from the public. 10,000 names were gathered from social media, 11 of which were assigned to their own storm.

The list began with Storm Abigail and ended with Katie, the thinking being that humanising them would make people more aware of them. If even one person has turned to the passenger next to them on the bus and muttered, “How about Doris then? The fuck is she playing at?” then surely it’s mission accomplished. The initial pilot was so popular that right now no new name suggestions are being accepted.

In a system that mirrors the one used for hurricanes, the names run alphabetically and alternate between male and female, reports WIRED. Next up for the UK is Ewan, who we frankly dislike already.


When a storm is seen to be approaching the UK it’s given a danger rating by meteorologists. Storms that fall between the medium and severe categories are given names.

The Met Office video below explains the naming scale in more detail, but essentially, they were all decided by the internet.

(Image credits: REX/Met Office (YouTube)



Science says 5-a-day is now 10-a-day


Teens that drink and smoke weed are smarter, says study


NASA's released travel posters of the new solar system


Sir Bruce Forsyth has died aged 89

The legendary presenter has died aged 89

by Gary Ogden
18 Aug 2017

The biggest stereotype about men and sex is actually a load of rubbish

We've been wrong this whole time

by Gary Ogden
18 Aug 2017

Discover the words that became cool in the year you were born

Were you born in the year of booty calls or cybersex?

by Emily Reynolds
18 Aug 2017

This German town came up with a genius way of humiliating neo-Nazis

Is this the best possible way to deal with them?

by Alex Finnis
18 Aug 2017

Donald Trump’s lawyer: possibly not racist, definitely not intelligent

Oldest trick in the book

by Tom Victor
17 Aug 2017

The 10 worst cities in the world to live in 2017

To put your first-world problems into perspective

17 Aug 2017

We have some very, very good news about cheese

Cheese lovers, it's our time to shine

by Emily Reynolds
17 Aug 2017

Jurors refuse to work on Martin Shkreli's trial for the best reasons

He is *not* a popular man

by Emily Reynolds
17 Aug 2017

Apparently millennials hate boobs now - but what do we like instead?

These god damn millennials, eh

by Gary Ogden
17 Aug 2017

All the times Donald Trump has failed to condemn far-right extremists

This has gone on for some time

by Tom Victor
16 Aug 2017