Not wanting to be left out in any way, shape or form, the UK is currently being battered by the first named storm of the season. Storm Aileen is bearing down on us with some wind and some rain, which is different to the normal UK weather because… erm… because it has a name on it.
The Met Office only names storms that come with any sort of amber or red warnings with regards to wind and/or rain. And this is the first one this season that is going to be a bit gusty with prolonged periods of wet. From now until about ten tomorrow morning.
It’s hardly Irma is it?
I mean, you’d think in view of the levels of destruction of Irma – not to mention Harvey, prior to that – that we’d maybe not do the naming thing just this once. Because “We lost everything during Hurricane Irma” has a far, far greater impact than “A slate blew off during Storm Aileen.”
I get that the Met Office thought that it would be a good idea to name these storms, because it allows people (those outside of meteorological realms, anyway) to have a greater understanding, I guess, of the number that we have in the country with any level of destructive power. But it is a bit naff, really, in the greater scheme of things.
I suppose it’s media friendly as well. You’re not going to pay much attention to a wind-swept, water-soaked reporter standing on a corner somewhere telling you the weather’s bad, but if you attach a name to that weather – anthropomorphise the wind and the rain – then you create a villain we can all shake a traditionally angry British fist at.
But it’s hardly Irma, is it?
Even though you can guarantee that the news will – tomorrow – show an image of a wall that’s blown down or a tree branch in a road and make some great song and dance about the weather we’ve had to endure. And aren’t we brave for getting through it. I mean, they won’t linger on it because Aileen is doing her best to completely avoid London lest the whole country grind to a halt – we can’t cope with Big Ben silent AND strong winds in the Capital, there’s only so far a stiff upper lip can take you.
But it will be there. Someone will say they heard a crash and looked in horror as a couple of tiles slid off the roof, narrowly missing their car which – even though they have a garage – they have left in the drive. Or there will be a video of one of those large trampolines blowing. They’re always a favourite these days.
Aren’t we brave in the face of Aileen?
I mean, had it been worse that person might have had to take time out of their day to get some T-Cut or something and buff out a scratch.