Monday 11 September 2023

Stormy Jocelyn

As promised in August 1st September is when the UK NL IE Met Offices reveal >!shazzam!< the official storm names for the 2023-2024 season. and <drum> they <roll> are: Agnes, Babet, Ciarán, Debi, Elin, Fergus, Gerrit, Henk, Isha, Jocelyn, Kathleen, Lilian, Minnie, Nicholas, Olga, Piet, Regina, Stuart, Tamiko, Vincent and Walid. Oddly, Ciarán, diacritic fada and all, was not party of Team Met Eireann. Less Oddly, at least the Irish names are chosen for pioneering Irish scientists, which is a shade less silly than sticking a pin in the relevant page of Name Your Erse Babe.

Jocelyn Bell-Burnell [whom we've blobbed before] captured the conceit rather well: "I am delighted to feature in this distinguished list celebrating science and hope that if a potential “Storm Jocelyn” happens, it may be a useful stirring-up rather than a destructive event! Science advancements increase our knowledge and understanding of the world around us, and I think this is wonderful example of science-based services communications.” But she may rest easy: it is vanishingly unlikely that we will get as far down the list as Storm J. Last storm year we crapped out at Betty. The only other overlap between my list of notable Irish [female] scientists and Met Eireann's is the chemist Kathleen "Benzene" Lonsdale.

Maybe, having ticked the science [✓] box with this year's naming of winds, we can finally honour Teresa Manion [above L] reporting on Storm Desmond in 2015 and horizontal rain. Sing it: Don't make unnecessary journeys - Don't take risks on treacherous roads - And never ever go to Crossmolina.

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