WITH clean-ups still taking place after Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis, the next storm name has now been revealed.

But when Storm Ellen could hit is still unclear. 

After a mild start to the year, we have been battered by heavy rain and severe gales in recent weeks.

The latest long range forecast suggests there's more unsettled weather ahead but there are no named storms in the forecast at the moment.

A Met Office spokesman added: "Unsettled and often windy conditions are expected to continue with areas of rain moving east across the UK interspersed with brighter, showery interludes.

"Rain is likely to be heaviest across western and especially northwestern areas with the driest and brightest weather across the east and southeast.

"Hail and thunder are also possible in the showery interludes with snow at times over northern hills.

"Temperatures will generally vary between near normal and mild as weather systems cross the country.

"Some brief quieter, colder spells are also possible later in the period, with the best of the dry weather away from the far northwest.

"These periods may also bring some overnight frost and patchy fog in places."

The heaviest rain and strongest winds are also expected in the north west at the start of March with drier conditions expected in southern and eastern parts.

'More prolonged dry spells' are expected by the middle of March and temperatures are expected to stay above average with any cold interludes fairly brief.

Why do the Met Office name storms?

The Met Office first decided to give storms a name in 2014 with the first one named Abigail in November 2015.

The hope was that naming severe storms would make people more aware of them and how dangerous they can be.

And it makes it easier to follow the progress of a storm on the TV, radio, or on social media, if it has a name.

Can I suggest a storm name?

Every summer the Met Office and Met Éireann ask people to send in their ideas for future storm names.

Look out for their #NameOurStorms campaign on social media around July this year for the chance for your name to be included.

A new list of names will be compiled jointly between Met Éireann, the Met Office and KNMI (The Dutch national weather forecasting service) in September for the following 2020/2021 storm season.

What are the storm names for this year?

We've already had:

  • Storm Atiyah (arrived December 8 to 9)
  • Brendan (January 13 to 14)
  • Ciara (February 8 to 9) 
  • Dennis (February 15 to 16) 

Then we've got:

  • Ellen
  • Francis
  • Gerda 

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:  

  • Hugh  
  • Iris  
  • Jan  
  • Kitty  
  • Liam  
  • Maura  
  • Noah  
  • Olivia  
  • Piet  
  • Róisín
  • Samir  
  • Tara  
  • Vince  
  • Willow

Names alternate between male and female and run from A-Z based on some of the more popular names suggested to the Met Office as well as 'reflecting the diversity of Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands'.

To ensure the Met Office is in line with the US National Hurricane Centre naming conventions, names which begin with the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are not included.

Are there any names the Met Office has ruled out?

Among the names suggested to the Met Office, officials have rejected anything that isn't a 'proper name'.

That includes:

Apocalypse, Baldrick, Big Boss, Gnasher, Hot Brew, root ripper, Stormageddon, Ssswetcaroline, Vader, Voldermort and branch wobbler.

Other rejected names included Hammer, Hades, Forkbeard, Megatron and In A Teacup.