Storm Christoph is battering Britain, which is causing severe flooding and snow – so much so hard that a major incident has been declared in Manchester.

Eight inches of rain is expected in the coming days, as well as snow and strong winds.

The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for rain between Tuesday, January 19, to Thursday, January 21, for central northern England.

But why do they name storms, and what will the storm after Christoph be called?

Why do they name storms in the UK?

The Met Office and the Irish equivalent Met Eireann decided to begin naming storms after a survey revealed people became more aware of extreme weather warnings once the storm was given a name.

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In response to the results, a list of names was drawn up from suggestions from the public which has given us the likes of Strom Abigail, Storm Doris and Storm Ewan.

However, naming storms is not a new phenomenon as the US National Hurricane Centre has named tropical storms since 1953 to make it easier to refer to Atlantic tropical storms when tracking them and so the public will always know exactly what storm is on its way.

Since the regions of the mid-Atlantic are so often plagued with tropical storms that evolve into hurricanes it makes sense to distinguish between them, so far this year the US and the Caribbean have suffered severe damages from Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

In line with the US National Hurricane Centre tradition, the list of storm names for the season does not include names beginning with the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z.

When is a storm named?

In the UK a storm is named when it has potential to cause disruption or damage, and the Met Office may be forced to issue an amber or red warning for regions in the country.

Red, amber, yellow or green weather warnings are based guidance from on our National Severe Weather Warning Service, which is a combination of both the impact the weather may have and the likelihood of those impacts happening.

These impacts could mean the impacts from wind but also from rain and snow.

Once the storm meets the criteria for being named, either Met Eireann or The Met Office will actually publicly name the storm, adhering to the formulated list.

What will the storm after Christoph be called?

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The next storm after Christoph will be called Darcy.

The rest of the names for 2020-2021 are as follows:

MORE : Birmingham to dodge worst of Storm Christoph but flooding still likely

MORE : One dead after 130-car pile-up during huge snowstorm in Japan

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