Met Office mocked for naming a storm 'Heulwen', which means something very different in Welsh

The Met Office is facing some mockery after accidentally putting a name that means “sunshine” in Welsh on its list of 2020-2021 storm names.

Every year, the Met Office releases a list of names for storms which are forecast to hit in the coming year. One of the names that they picked this year was “Heulwen”, which is a Welsh name for girls.

But Huelwen means “blessed by the sun” – which people pointed out might not be the most appropriate for a weather event that could cause flooding.

On Twitter, people pointed out that it was quite funny but also showed how little people knew about Welsh.

However, the Met Office said that the point of naming storms wasn’t to think about what they meant, but rather to make people aware that if a storm became named, it was a sign of bad weather and that they should be prepared. Storms are named alphabetically, starting with Aiden this year.

Bonnie Diamond, a spokeswoman for the Met Office said that they had put out a call for names to the public, which turned up thousands of suggestions. She explained, “There were quite a lot of interesting names on the list. We’re keen to have a very diverse list of names.

“H was going to be female this year [it was Hugh last time]. A popular female name was Heulwen. We check all the meanings of the names beforehand. The meaning of Heulwen is sun-blessed. We were more than happy to use it.”

But, there’s a good chance that we won’t see Storm Heulwen – as the storm names go alphabetically, it’s often quite unusual for storm names past G to be used.

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