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Storm Barra named after BBC NI weather presenter

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A woman tries to avoid sea spray, whipped up by the wind and waves on New Brighton promenade, as the UK readies for the arrival of Storm Barra

A woman tries to avoid sea spray, whipped up by the wind and waves on New Brighton promenade, as the UK readies for the arrival of Storm Barra

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Weatherman Barra Best

Weatherman Barra Best

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A woman tries to avoid sea spray, whipped up by the wind and waves on New Brighton promenade, as the UK readies for the arrival of Storm Barra

A storm sweeping the UK and Ireland was named after Barra Best, the BBC NI weather presenter has confirmed.

Speaking on the BBC's Evening Extra programme, Mr Best said he "didn't know for sure" until the list of 2021/22 storm names was announced.

The Met Office collaborates with Met Eireann in Ireland and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) to name storms, receiving thousands of suggestions each year.

The popular weather presenter said on Monday: "What happened was the head of Irish weather service Met Eireann called me in August and asked me where my name was from and I thought it was a bit strange, I didn't know why she was asking. It comes from the south-west of Ireland from Finbarr – St Finbarr in Co Cork – and it's derived from that."

He continued: "She said, ‘Oh that's fine, that's fine.’ I asked, ‘Why did you want to know?’, and she said, ‘Oh, you'll find out in about a month’. Of course the email came out and the list of names were announced and she had decided to put my name in there."

Mr Best said he was surprised by the inclusion but another family member was happy they beat him to the punch in having a storm named after them. "My Dad was loving life, because he got Storm Aidan about three years ago, so he beat me to it."

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Jokingly Mr Best said the storm, like him, would be "nice and calm, always" but said he wouldn't be out in stormy conditions to cover the weather. "I've managed to make it so that there's no one else here to cover the weather so I have to stay in the building. I'm happy for someone else to go out there and let me know what it's like," he said.

Storm Barra is the reason behind a yellow weather warning which is in place for the whole of Northern Ireland from Tuesday morning, bringing strong winds and heavy rain from 6am. The warning will be in force until 9am on Wednesday.

The strongest gusts will affect exposed and coastal areas, with potentially damaging and disruptive winds up to 70mph expected. There is a chance of some travel disruption and flooding as strong south easterly winds begin to sweep in.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has appealed for people to stay well back from the water's edge due to the risk of large waves, and in any coastal emergency to dial 999 for the coastguard.

Meanwhile a rare red alert has been issued in the Republic of Ireland.


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