There’s no business like snow business – Weather Channel to start naming winter storms

“Snowmageddon 2011 in Chicago”

From their press release

The Weather Channel announced today its new naming system for winter storms, making it the first national organization in North America to proactively name winter storms. In time for the start of the winter season, naming storms makes communications and information sharing  easier, enabling consumers to better understand forecasts that could significantly affect their lives.

“On a national scale, the most intense winter storms acquire a name through some aspect of pop culture and now, social media, for example Snowmaggeddon and Snotober,” said Tom Niziol, winter weather expert for The Weather Channel Companies. “Retrospectively naming lake effect storms has been a local success at The National Weather Service office in Buffalo, NY as well as with Weather Services throughout Europe and we believe it can be a useful tool on a national scale in the U.S.”

The Weather Channel has the meteorological ability, support and technology to bring a more systematic approach to naming winter storms, similar to the way tropical storms have been named for years, staying true to its mission to keep the public safe and informed in times of severe-weather events. During the winter months, many people are impacted by freezing temperatures, flooding and power outages, travel disruptions and other impacts caused by snow and ice storms. The new naming system will raise awareness and reduce the risks, danger, and confusion for consumers in the storms’ paths.

A group of senior meteorologists chose the 26 names (one for each letter of the alphabet) on the 2012-2013 winter storm list. The only criteria: choose names that are not and have never been on any of the hurricane lists produced by the National Hurricane Center or National Weather Service. Naming will occur no more than three days prior to a winter storms expected impact to ensure there is strong confidence the system could have a significant effect on large populations.

In North America, only hurricanes, which are the biggest weather systems on the planet, have been proactively named using a system that has been effective in preparing consumers during the tropical season. The winter naming system will raise consumer awareness, which will lead to better planning and preparedness, resulting in less overall impact – in the same way that names for topical systems raise awareness.

Visit http://wxch.nl/SyPRDs for the complete 2012-2013 winter storm list.

###

==============================================================

Over at the Washington Post, The Capital Weather Gang isn’t that impressed. Jason Samenow writes:

But one of the more convincing criticisms of the storm naming initiative I’ve seen originates from Chris McMurry, public relations director for MGH, a Maryland-based advertising agency. His thoughtful blog post – headlined “At the Weather Channel, It’s Marketing First, News Second” is worth reading. The gist of his argument is that TWC may do its audience a disservice by (intentionally or unintentionally) prioritizing “branding” over substance.

A key excerpt:

What makes this Weather Channel decision more about marketing than news is that it, as a ratings-generating television network, gets to set the parameters for what makes for a “name-worthy” winter storm. In essence, there is a profit motive in exclusively branding severe weather events that have the ability to destroy homes and claim lives.

. . .…in this situation, it appears The Weather Channel is driven more by creating a branded product, complete with fancy graphics, than in delivering weather news in the clearest, most commonly understood way, which is what The Weather Channel should stand for. Marketing is important for any business, but when it gets in the way of your mission, perhaps it goes too far.

Full story at WaPo here.

Here’s the list of names they came up with:

Athena: The Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspirations, justice, mathematics and all things wonderful.

Brutus: Roman Senator and best known assassin of Julius Caesar.

Caesar: Title used by Roman and Byzantine emperors.

Draco: The first legislator of Athens in Ancient Greece.

Euclid: A mathematician in Ancient Greece, the father of geometry.

Freyr: A Norse god associated with fair weather, among other things.

Gandolf: A character in a 1896 fantasy novel in a pseudo-medieval countryside.

Helen: In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy was the daughter of Zeus.

Iago: Enemy of Othello in Shakespeare’s play, Othello.

Jove: The English name for Jupiter, the Roman god of light and sky.

Khan: Mongolian conqueror and emperor of the Mongol empire.

Luna: The divine embodiment of the moon in Roman mythology.

Magnus: The Father of Europe, Charlemagne the Great, in Latin: Carolus Magnus.

Nemo: A Greek boy’s name meaning “from the valley,” means “nobody” in Latin.

Orko: The thunder god in Basque mythology.

Plato: Greek philosopher and mathematician, who was named by his wrestling coach.

Q:
The Broadway Express subway line in New York City.

Rocky: A single mountain in the Rockies.

Saturn: Roman god of time, also the namesake of the planet Saturn in our solar system.

Triton: In Greek mythology, the messenger of the deep sea, son of Poseidon.

Ukko: In Finnish mythology, the god of the sky and weather.

Virgil: One of ancient Rome’s greatest poets.

Walda: Name from Old German meaning “ruler.”

Xerxes: The fourth king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Xerxes the Great.

Yogi: People who do yoga.

Zeus: In Greek mythology, the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus and the gods who lived there.

==============================================================

I have to think though that with a list like that, which looks like a cross between the movies Star Trek, Harry Potter, and Clash of the Titans, it is going to raise more guffaws than ratings. I know major snow storms bury people alive, but really, Khan?

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74 Responses to There’s no business like snow business – Weather Channel to start naming winter storms

  1. Justthinkin says:

    “SNOTober,” “You just can’t make this stuff up. So when do they start naming t-storms and lighting strikes?
    Obviously to many people there with too much time on their hands. Fire them all.

  2. omnologos says:

    Khaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

  3. rocknblues81 (formally Brian) says:

    Please tell me this came from the onion… Actually, I’m not overly shocked. TWC went to the dogs a few years ago and their forecasts are inaccurate now it seems.

  4. Hoser says:

    No, starting in December, every winter, the storms should be named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer… through Rudolf. If we need more names, we can add Frosty, Snoopy, Charlie, Lucy, Linus, Schroder, Pig Pen, and Grinch. Hey, it’s going to be the new tradition, so why change the names every year?

  5. DonK31 says:

    I’ll bet that this year will have a record number of named winter storms and that next year will have a 50% chance of breaking that record.

  6. Perkele! says:

    Ukko (“old man”) is an euphemism for the old finnish supreme god called Perkele. Perkele is still a common curseword in finnish and used in christian literature as a synonym for satan.

    It would be awesome to see newscasts about Perkele cruising around the US causing havoc. ;)

  7. cark1 says:

    How about the celtic god of thunder, Taranis and his relative in the hittite pantheon; Tarhunt?

    In Norway they have named the winter storms for a while now and one of these storms, Gudrun (in January 2005), was so fierce that us swedes took on that name too. The germans called it Erwin.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_Gudrun

    /Carl

  8. Brian H says:

    “a single mountain in the Rockies” “people who do yoga”
    Groan!

  9. Phillip Bratby says:

    The first one should be named Al

  10. Graeme No.3 says:

    Briffa
    Flannery
    Gore
    Hansen
    Jones
    Lewandowsky
    etc.
    or should these names be reserved for events with lots of hot air?

  11. Chris Mortimer says:

    Never heard of Gandolf before (no hits on Google either) – Could try Gandalf I suppose as he’s a character from somebody’s fertile imagination ;>))

  12. Otter says:

    So if we have another mild winter and there’s a dearth of storms, will that be proof of ‘man-made’ global warming, or will it prove that there will be Less storms in a warming world?

  13. Caleb says:

    I actually tried naming storms in the winter of 1975-76. It was a great way of focusing on features on weather maps. The problem was that a primary storm might weaken, and a secondary take over. Therefore I gave each front a letter, and the lows that formed on the front would be A1 and A2 and A3, though each would have a name, “Abner,” “Able,” “Abraham.” This resulted in all sorts of new problems, and my notes are a bit amusing, containing statements such as, “Abner ate Able.”

    Back in those days “Weatherwise” magazine had daily weather maps for the past month in the final pages, but the only way I could get a decent current map was by looking at the NY Times weather map in the public library. I learned a lot just by trying to “keep my names straight.” I recall one storm at the tail end of a front dawdled down in the Gulf of Mexico, and then got picked up by the next front, and I agonized over whether to have it’s name start with one letter or another. However this did give me a sort of embryonic understanding of “Trough Splitting.”

    By January I was utterly fed up with the amount of work involved, (and the dullness of that winter in Maine,) and gave the whole effort up.

  14. garymount says:

    Does that mean “Athena buries Calgary” should be the headline for this storm? :
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/10/02/calgary-snow-first-weather.html

  15. David Ross says:

    Adam (David)
    Briffa (Keith)/ Black (Richard)
    Consensus/ Connolley (William)
    Divergence
    Ehrlich (Paul)
    Fenton (David)
    Gore (Al)/ Gleick (Peter)/ Greenpeace/ Greenhouse
    Hansen (James)/ Hulme (Mike)/ Holdren (John)/ Hockeystick
    IPCC
    Jones (Phil)
    Kevin (Trenberth)
    Lewandowsky
    Mann (Michael)/ Monnett (Charles)/ Muller (Richard)/ Mooney (Chris)
    Naomi (Oreskes)/ Ninetysevenpercent
    Oppenheimer (Michael)
    Pachauri (Rajendra)
    Quixote (tilting at windmills?)
    Romm (Joe)/ Rahmstorf (Stefan)/ Revelle (Roger)
    Soros (George)/ Schmidt (Gavin)/ Schneider (Stephen)
    Turner (Ted)
    UHI ?
    Varve ?
    Wirth (Timothy)/ Worsethanwethought
    Zimmerman (Kendall)

  16. Mike McMillan says:

    facepalm.

  17. Otter says:

    The Valentine’s Day weekend I proposed to my future wife, in 2003, saw one the most massive East coast storms I’d ever seen (and which I got to drive home in, from Ontario to PA). It was quite a beautiful sight on radar, although doing a 360 near Bath was not fun.
    I hereby claim dibs and retroactively name it “Jenn,’ for my wife.

  18. Galane says:

    Athena: One of my sister’s best friends
    Brutus: Popeye’s nemesis (Possibly related to Bluto.)
    Caesar: A salad
    Draco: Harry Potter’s nemesis
    Gandolf: None shall pass! (Because the roads are full of snow)
    Khan: Noonian Sinhg – KAAAAAAHHHHN!
    Magnus: Alfred Pyke 29 December 1908 – 19 October 1992. Scientist and author of books such as “Butter Side up!” Brother of Geoffrey Pyke, inventor of Pykrete.
    Nemo: A young clownfish with a deformed fin
    Orko: The annoying sidekick to He-Man
    Plato: A computer courseware system
    Q: The onmipotent ‘continuum’ from Star Trek that might also be the adoptive “parents” of Charlie X
    Rocky: Balboa. Adrian! Aaaaadriannnn!
    Saturn: A no longer manufactured brand of motor vehicle
    Virgil: My maternal grandfather’s first name, which he hated, so he always went by his first initial and middle name
    Yogi: Hey Boo-boo, let’s steal us a pick-i-nick basket!

  19. Dr. John M. Ware says:

    Assuming that each “named” storm would be a distinct and single entity (as hurricanes seem to be), it would be much simpler to designate them A-12, B-12, etc. (for A and B of 2012 or the 2012-13 season), and simply restart the series in fall 2013. To complicate matters, they could use WS-A-12 for Winter Storm A of 2012-13. Those hideous names shown above might lead people to get emotionally attached to–say–winter storm Athena. As for the weather channel, I used to watch it a lot. Now, I tune in and get something like Iron Men or Pyromaniacs or the like, which doesn’t interest me in the least.

    Of course, my first assumption is not likely always to be true, is it? I remember several times when two different storms combined to form one bigger one, or when one big one fragmented into some smaller ones. If storms Athena and Bilbo (I forget what B was above) combine, do they produce Cosmo? Or is it still Athena or Bilbo? If Athena splits into two or more storms, are the split-offs Athena1, Athena2, etc., or is one Athena and the second one Bilbo, or do we get Bilbo and Cosmo? Ethical, marketing, and practical considerations crowd in upon the namers here.

    Actually, I don’t like the idea of naming winter storms, in part because the system will be used to create the idea and the fear that winter storms are increasing in number, which I doubt until I see proof.

  20. Paul Coppin says:

    Alarmism, the new growth industry. And since when did KBUF start naming winter storms? I live less than an hour from the radar site and have for a whole lot of decades and its news to me, and I take feeds from NWS Buffalo 24/7. We [used to] get an average of 21 snow events most winters on the north shore of the lower great Lakes and the lee shore gets snow every few days. We get one, maybe 2 winter weather bombs a season. The weather channel needs to spend more time on actual forecasting and less on branding. Isn’t the Weather Channel a Gore company?

  21. beesaman says:

    The anthropomorphication of weather events will also enable the pyschobabblers to attach other human characteristics to weather patterns. This is very usuful for them as they can then maniputate how we feel about what were just natural events by using value laden propoganda.This will ensure a drift away from real science to more pyschobabble science, which I believe is the real intent here.

  22. Tom Davidson says:

    I have names for people who indulge in cheap sensationalism just so they can get some attention. I also have a sense of decorum that prevents me from committing those names to print.

  23. mfo says:

    Why stop with storms. Why not give every weather system a name. Mabel warm front. Suzy cold front. Jack precipitation. Ruby fog and Randy mist. Mann monsoon.

  24. polistra says:

    Good part: It would avoid the tiresome spectacle of newsreaders casting about for a name, then coming up with “Snowpocalypse” and considering it to be unique and new. We invented this name, and we’re proud of it!

    Bad part: Unlike hurricanes, snow tends to be more of an annual thing, not an individual storm thing. Some winters are bad from start to finish, others are not so bad. It’s the total accumulation that breaks roofs and hearts.

    We already remember bad winters by year rather than bad single storms, and this is fully appropriate.

    One nomenclature change that would really help: Agree to label winters by the year that includes all but 9 days of the official winter. Instead of “The winter of 2008-2009″, just say “The winter of 2009.”

  25. John says:

    Sheesh. What’s wrong with “The blizzard of 1888 ” (NYC), “The Christmas Blizzard” (Denver, 1982), “The Blizzard of ’49″ (Nebraska), etc. That works for me. Now, if there were more than say 10 big snowstorms, the maybe naming them might be appropriate, just not useful in any way.

  26. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, it might bring more attention to the amount of winter cold…

    but they are likely to run out of names awful quick….

    BTW, the “Weather Channel” ought to change their name. A decade or two back it was all weather all the time, so you could be in a hotel somewhere, turn it on, and know if you have a weather issue at your airport, or at the other end (or in between if traveling by car). It was a great service then. (Prevented me from being caught in a Rockies storm once). Now you MIGHT get weather, but most of the time is some “Wearthery Entertainment” with catastrophe stores about folks doing stupid things. For that I could watch the History channel, or should I say “the space alien channel” ;-)

    I rarely look at the Weather Channel for weather anymore. I just hit the web instead. After all, I want WEATHER, not “The hurricane of 1931″ or whatever…

  27. Hector Pascal says:

    Ah yes. Here (northern Japan) the snow storm starts in late December, and stops (normally) in early March. We have a name for it: “winter”.

  28. Owen in Ga says:

    Great, the mid-Atlantic to northeast big storms are almost always two or three storm systems converging on some front. The really big snows in 77 and 78 had a freezing rain producer from the midwest joining up with a gulf coast low that drug large amounts of gulf moisture up the east coast. The two systems linked up over central/eastern Kentucky and dropped about three feet of snow from Indiana to Delaware, and proceeded up the east coast. How do you name such a storm?

    The weather channel used to be a decent place to look at how weather systems were interacting. Now it never does the weather and is worse than watching the network morning shows on its “weather” coverage, and worse than that it almost never has weather on.

  29. Doug Huffman says:

    Ten years TV free. Eschew sensationalism.

  30. Russell says:

    NBC owns TWC which they bought for 3.5 billion; they also bought Weather Underground. Sure it’s easier to hype a storm with a name. It’s easy to remember Blizzard Barry vs. the blizzard of ’99. Make no mistake about it; the Weather Channel is all about hype. Take a look at the colors used to indicate temperature….80 F is now dark red as though it’s life threatening. It’s only going to get worse under NBC ownership.
    Do I have to mention “derechos”? Zeus, Poseidon and Aeolus prefer “eυθεία γραμμή ανέμου”.

    Uzi

  31. Ric Werme says:

    John says:
    October 3, 2012 at 3:18 am

    Sheesh. What’s wrong with “The blizzard of 1888 ” (NYC), “The Christmas Blizzard” (Denver, 1982), “The Blizzard of ’49″ (Nebraska), etc.

    It took my years before I figured out exactly what my wife called the Blizzard of ’78. She was living in the midwest at the time, and my Blizzard of ’78 was a nor’easter that couldn’t have had an impact that far west. It turns out that I had it too, but in New England it was a mostly rain storm that was between the unnamed snow storm that set the 24 hour record in Boston and our Blizzard which broke that 24 hour record. All three storms could have used names, though that first one didn’t come with the hurricane force winds that made our blizzard so destructive, or the timing that made it so disruptive.

    Names are useful, but winter storms can be named after the fact. Tropical storm names are useful to help distinguish between them when there are multiple storms wandering around. Winter storms tend to be one at a time, so “the yet-to-be-named storm” is almost always unambiguous.

    I have no trouble with a private entity naming storms, but us Libertarians are like that (there’s nothing in the US Constitution that reserves that right to the government, after all!) However, what television station will use those names and run the risk that their viewers will switch over to The Weather Channel to see what the fuss is all about. Perhaps they’ll eventually become the authority on naming winter storms, but we’ll see.

  32. CodeTech says:

    garymount says:

    Does that mean “Athena buries Calgary” should be the headline for this storm? :
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/10/02/calgary-snow-first-weather.html

    I was driving in it. It’s not really a snowstorm, more a drizzly rain with occasional globs of slightly frozen crystals. Nothing is accumulating on the ground, which is still warm from a wonderful month of above average September.

    I do remember some epic snowfalls in Calgary that probably wouldn’t hurt to be named: the spring blizzard of 86 (several feet of snow, which is always unusual here), the January snowfall of 89, and the St. Patricks Day blizzard of 98. Nothing really of note since then, though. You’d almost think things were stabilizing or something.

  33. MarkW says:

    I imagine that more people are going to think of Star Trek the Next Generation, when they hear Q, than think of a NYC subway line.

  34. Frank K. says:

    This is beyond ridiculous! Another reason NOT to use the Weather Channel (or the Weather Underground) for my daily weather information.

  35. wayne says:

    So the Weather Channel is getting ready for the drop in temperatures, huh? Seems that’s all well and good but we’re still going to boycott ‘The Weather Channel’ affiliates anyway.

    Scaring (def: to fill, especially suddenly, with fear or terror; frighten; alarm) children with their “pop culture” sensationalism of named snowstorms is a real psychological sickness on The Weather Channel’s part. What in the world was the Weather Channel thinking of?

    This is all about fright and terror. Adults used to just “grin and bear” the snow for the kids sake, it was a fun time for them, misserable for the adults. I think this idea is really sick, sick, sick.

  36. eqibno says:

    In the spirit of the Superbowl, how about:
    Snowjob I, II, III, IV etc.?

  37. Doug Huffman says:

    There is no objective standard of what is a blizzard as there is no objective standard of what is a drought. There is an objective standard of hurricane and a hierarchy, but the hysterical hyperboles would measure them in inflating damage dollars. Eschew sensationalism.

  38. Tamara says:

    Did they really think people were going to buy those explanations for “Q” and “Rocky”?

    I don’t see that naming the storms ahead of time will work. Seems like we never know they are going to be memorable until after the fact. I foresee a lot of named duds.

  39. Jud says:

    I actually like the idea.
    With hurricanes I can easily associate the names with events which happened elsewhere in North America in previous days – e.g. “the wind and rain we are seeing are from the tail end of hurricane x which came up through the gulf coast 4 days ago”.

    It would likelier I would be aware of the progress of winter storms in a similar fashion if they were named.

  40. Pull My Finger says:

    Man, the History Channel isn’t even good enough to be the Space Alien Channel any more, now it’s all rednecks chopping down stuff, driving over stuff, or buying stuff at yard sales. Aliens are relegated to H2 now (which used to be awesome when it was History International). Weather Channel in the morning is fine, but during prime time it’s basically useless drivel. Remember the TV Guide channel that used to have TV listings… go figure? Now it has the worst of the worst of reality shows and, shocking, no TV listings. All I can say is thank god for Netflix streaming.

    But yea, this is fine just so we don’t have to listen to babbling noggins using stuff like Snowzilla, Snowmageddon, and other banalities that make me want to stick ice picks in my ear drums. Any idea what the criteria will be? Who will be the first to retroactively catalogue the past winter storms so they can immediately declare that the winter of 2012-13 is the worst ever?

  41. Pull My Finger says:

    Drenchos, who ever came up with that should be beat with a rubber hose. Who knew we could get long lines of thunderstorms in the summer?

  42. Joanie says:

    I had to go and check that it really was their ‘official’ list of names and explanations, because it was so lame. Thought someone was making it up to show how silly the names were… nope! A Subway in New York? Really? One mountain in the Rockies? Whose job was it to compile this list? Someone’s kids? Was it a school paper that got out of hand?
    The reasons against doing this have been put forth by more knowledgeable posters, and they make sense. TWC is a joke.

  43. aharris says:

    So aside from now being able to scream “Khaaaaaaaannn!” out my car window when stuck in an impossible winter commute, and being able to quip that we are out “finding Nemo” when the forecast 2 ft. fails to fall, is there any point to this aside from alarming people? It seems to me that people around here never fail to take a forecast seriously and always bolt for the nearest hardware and grocery stores at any hint of precipitation in winter. On another note, is it true that homeowner’s insurance carries specific exemptions for named storms, and if that’s so, will this affect them? I guess I better check.

  44. D Böehm says:

    While they’re at it, maybe they should name eclipses, too.

  45. David Ball says:

    I remember snowstorms in the 70′s. Mom worked at the hospital and I remember thinking it was cool that she was picked up by snowmobile and taken in to work. She was terrified but did it anyway. We lived in a suburban area and it was normally very illegal to drive a snowmobile within city limits.

    In the future, will this era be known as the ” Alarmocene”? Or the more accurate (as shown by PBS commenters ) the “Idiocene”?

  46. beng says:

    Yogi: I’m smarter than the average TWC employee. Yay, hay, hay, HEE!

  47. Another leap in the advancement of weather forecasting. Now if the Weather Channel could only predict precipitation over 3 days in advance, I’d be thrilled. So far this year I have seldom seen Weather Channel’s 5 day forecast for my locale remain the same for more than a day. They are terrible. The worst.

  48. David Ball says:

    There is a parallel in logical deduction between CAGW and “Ancient Aliens”.

  49. John Coleman says:

    This all showbiz. I know because when I was Meteorologist at WLS, The ABC station in Chicago, in the earky 1970s I was building ratings with all the showbiz gimmicks I could think of. So I started naming the winter storms that hit Chicago after noteable local figures. It was a hit. I named one for the best known columnist in town and he responded by having me hit in the face with a pie while his photographer snapped the pictures. It made lots of publicity for both of us. I dominated the TV ratings. He dominated the newspaper. In a way this proves there is nothing new…But in fact there is a lot that’s new. Its on our smart phones.

  50. littlepeaks says:

    Without criteria about what comprises a “named winter storm”, every winter storm that produces at least one snowflake will receive a name.

  51. Stanley K. says:

    I thought TWC was firmly in the CAGW camp. If CAGWism is true, we should soon no longer have winter storms. So what do they plan on naming?

  52. David Ball says:

    Stanley K. says:
    October 3, 2012 at 8:35 am
    CAGW is confirmed by EVERY KNOWN WEATHER EVENT!!! Just an fyi. Sorry for yelling sarcastically. :)

  53. David Larsen says:

    We’ve got snow coming down in Big Horn county MT right at this moment and it is only Oct. 3. Drought for 48 days and now snow and rain.

  54. Paul Coppin says:

    Doug Huffman says:
    October 3, 2012 at 6:39 am

    “There is no objective standard of what is a blizzard as there is no objective standard of what is a drought. There is an objective standard of hurricane and a hierarchy, but the hysterical hyperboles would measure them in inflating damage dollars. Eschew sensationalism.”

    That’s not correct. While blizzards don’t have a “Saffir-Simpson” or “Fujita” scale, they do have a meteorological definition. This is Environment Canada’s (I expect the NWS version is similar):

    When winds of 40 km/hr or greater are expected to cause widespread reductions in visibility to 400 metres or less, due to blowing snow, or blowing snow in combination with falling snow, for at least 4 hours.

    For reference, the rest of the EC criteria are here: http://www.ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/default.asp?lang=En&n=D9553AB5-1

  55. But AGW models were predicting snowstorms would become a thing of the past. Wait ’til our friends start giving names to the lulls between snowstorms…

  56. Paul Coppin says:

    Note for the above blizzard def in Canada, north of the treeline, the duration is extended to 6 hours. A 4 hour blow would pretty much mean a blizzard warning from November to May up there…. :)

    There’s a rumour that it will be lowered to 15 minutes north of 60 due to Climate Change….
    ..
    .
    .

    /sarc

  57. john robertson says:

    Think of the marketing, this storm brought to you by,….insert idiot add.

  58. Don Worley says:

    Reportedly the most popular name in the world is Muhammad. Perhaps In the interest of diversity, they could start there.
    That might “raise awareness” on many levels.

  59. george e smith says:

    So how much money is it going to cost us taxpayers to measure these events to determine if they should have a name or not.

    Is Q the only word that begins with Q ? I though Q was the James Bond Gizmanager; maybe that was M ? So what does one now call a single granite bowlder in the rockies; izzat maybe a Rockette ??

    Here I was thinking that “Burning Man” was the ultimate insanity, and along comes the WC. Well and we all know what the WC is full of !

  60. Pull My Finger says:

    At least Burning Man was designed to be insane, by the insane, for the insane. If the WC forecasts rain for a softball game or planned outing 3 days in advance I know that it will in fact be a beautiful day.

  61. Garethman says:

    First snow falling in Wales above 400mtrs. Fairly early, but the forecast is for a cold winter.

  62. Ric Werme says:

    Pull My Finger says:
    October 3, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Who will be the first to retroactively catalogue the past winter storms so they can immediately declare that the winter of 2012-13 is the worst ever?

    The legendary Paul Kocin and Louis Uccellini did that already, at least up to 2003. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=northeast+snowstorms

    It includes their “NESIS” ratings of the most notable storms (Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale). All true northeast snow freaks should own a set (two large hardcover books). Ahem, I really should read mine. Hey – there’s a photo from Harvey Cedars during the 1962 nor’easter. Dang, I could have used it on my 50th anniversary post….

    Paul worked for TWC for a while, even though it meant moving to (mostly) snow-free Atlanta.

  63. Dell from Michigan says:

    How about Snobama?

  64. SadButMadLad says:

    So they’re not going to use names of hurricanes. But have they told the hurricane namers not to use snow storm names?

  65. Tom in Florida says:

    Oh c’mon. Everyone in North American knows that Yogi is Yogi Berra and Rocky is Rocky Balboa..

  66. Ric Werme says:

    SadButMadLad says:
    October 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    > So they’re not going to use names of hurricanes. But have they told the hurricane namers not to use snow storm names?

    That would be the WMO. For Atlantic and Eastern Pacific names, six years of names are available, and then they repeat. I didn’t check everything, but Athena is not listed at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml . The only thing to worry about is when a name gets retired, then gnomes have to choose a replacement to use six years later.

  67. Jim G says:

    US Weather Service definition:

    “Blizzard
    (abbrev. BLZD)- A blizzard means that the following conditions are expected to prevail for a period of 3 hours or longer:
    Sustained wind or frequent gusts to 35 miles an hour or greater; and
    Considerable falling and/or blowing snow (i.e., reducing visibility frequently to less than ¼ mile) ”

    We have this frequently with no such definition being placed upon it here in WY. We call it a snow storm. The only difference between it and a regular day is that there is snow with the wind. No one even calls FEMA to see if they will send us some money.

  68. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Blizzard Barack, which will be informally called Blizzard Barry, which will cause confusion as the massive piles of white powder will evoke an association with DC mayor Marion Barry.

  69. dmacleo says:

    good lord.
    in Maine here, will be damned if I waste time naming storms. what a crock.

  70. Aaron Beard says:

    I can see it now headline: Weather channel only names 10 snow storms this year… 2012 has had the lowest amount of named storms in history… must be “climate change and that damn CO^2″!

    Basically we will have another “hole in the ozone scare” where the media try’s to scare you into following what the hippies want.

  71. Walda?

    As in Where’s Walda?

    Their list does bring up the same questions – will the same names be used, will there be rotating lists, will deadly/expensive storms be retired?

    And the most important question – who cares?

  72. David A. Evans says:

    Didn’t read the comments so…

    The storm of ’47 just doesn’t stick as well as snowstorm Katrina! It’s a psychological thing.

    DaveE.

  73. David Jones says:

    “Retrospectively naming lake effect storms has been a local success at The National Weather Service office in Buffalo, NY as well as with Weather Services throughout Europe and we believe it can be a useful tool on a national scale in the U.S.”

    I may have missed it (unlikely) but to my knowledge it hasn’t been done in UK.

    Now UK IS part of Europe (geographically) so the phrase “throughout Europe is clearly WRONG. It is therefore either a careless mistake by Weather Channel or an outright LIE. If I was a betting man I know which I would bet on.

  74. Spector says:

    BTW, it looks like what might be called Pacific Polar Storm #1 is coming ashore this weekend in Washington State.

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