The naming of bad weather (storms) in Greece

The four recent successive bad weather events, which affected Greece (Raphael, Sophia, Telemachus and Epatia), brought to light the way and the reason why the severe weather phenomena are “named” in Greece. 
From January 2017, the National Observatory of Athens  started on its own initiative the process of naming the bad weather, which is expected to cause significant social and economic repercussions in our country. Within two years, a total of 20 bad times have been named.
Dr. Kostas Lagouvardos and Vassiliki Kotroni, research directors of the National Observatory of Athens (NSA) Research Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development and CEO meteo.gr meteorologists have published six questions on the process for which – as it seems and from comments on social networks – other citizens agree and others disagree. 
Q: What are the bad weather criteria? 
CA: As the website http://meteo.gr/namedstorms.cfm says , low names / disturbances that are expected to have significant social and economic impacts in the country are given names. An important role in deciding whether or not to give a name plays criteria such as:
a) The bad weather is for a large part of the Territory and / or parts of the country with a high population density (eg: Athens, Thessaloniki), 
b) The expected rainfall exceeds levels for which experience has shown that they cause floods, 
c ) Expected snowfall to low altitudes and / or nodal points of highways, airports, as well as to affect the day-to-day operation of large urban centers; 
d) Expected wind intensity to exceed 9 Beaufort levels in much of the seas or 7 Beaufort in much of the land.
A combination of some of the above features of the weather, as well as their timing (for example, in festive periods with increased movement of citizens), increase the likelihood of giving a name to an upcoming bad weather. In other words, the criteria are not only strictly meteorological, but they also take into account the consequences of the phenomena in society, depending on the time of year and the activities taking place at that time. 
Q: How do you choose the names? 
AP: If the naming of a particular bad weather is decided, it is followed by alphabetical order, alternating male and female names, preferably names from mythology and ancient history. 
Q: Which other countries are following this practice?
A: The tropical cyclones in all the oceans of our planet are named and are the best known international practice. Although there is a widespread impression that names are given by US agencies, in fact for decades the names have been given by the World Meteorological Organization. Relevant information is available at https: //public.wmo.int/en/About-us/FAQs/faqs-tropical-cyclones/tropical -…
In Europe, from 2015, names at the barometric low give, together , the British and Irish Meteorological Service. Relevant information is available at: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/2018/storm-names-2018-19
Q: Is this practice really useful?
A: According to the World Meteorological Organization, ‘to names given to tropical cyclones started many years ago in order to assist in the rapid identification of such systems in warning messages because names are easier imprinted in the memory of the numbers and technical terms . Many agree that naming names in cyclones makes it easy for SMEs to report them, increases interest in warnings and increases the readiness of society. “
According to the British Meteorological Service, “bad weather naming has been shown to increase awareness of the weather in the UK by providing a consistent message to the public and urging citizens to take action to prevent possible damage to themselves or to property their”. 
Scientists from the National Observatory of Athens / meteo.gr believe that naming helps significantly in preparing citizens for an upcoming weather event. At the same time, our web pages are continually updating the phenomenon with the use of text, video, rain, snow, and wind maps in a comprehensible and comprehensible way to maximize the information of the population. 
Q: Are mistakes made in choosing bad weather?
CA: As in any new process, especially when it comes to weather forecasts, there are failures. For example, in the autumn of 2018 we gave the name “Orestes” in low barometric, which eventually gave intense phenomena just above the sea, without creating problems on the mainland or the island (with the exception of limited flooding in Kos). On the contrary, we did not name bad weather, which influenced Northern Greece in July 2017, where floods and major problems finally occurred in Chalkidiki and Pieria. 
Q: Will names of future bad weather be announced in advance?
CA: The answer is negative. Names will be announced when it is decided that a bad weather will be named to avoid misuse of the process. Finally, we would like to confirm once again that the National Observatory of Athens / meteo.gr is constantly making efforts through the network of automatic meteorological stations, the ZEUS lightning detection network, satellite observations and advanced meteorological models that it implements operationally. provides the necessary information to operators and citizens, in order to shield the country, as far as scientifically possible, from the severe weather phenomena. 

Based on original source: ANA-MPA

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