Winter Storms: To Name, or Not to Name?

6:35 PM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - Naming winter storms has become more and more common. Snowmageddon, Carmageddon, and of course Superstorm Sandy are a few notable examples. But does that mean these names should be official?

Earlier this year, the Weather Channel announced that it will give names to winter storms that, in their words, will "produce significant effects on a populated area". Their theory is that a storm with a name will be taken more seriously by the public. The network hasn't set any parameters for these storms that will get names like Brutus, Magnus, and Plato.

This is the first time a national company has attempted to name storms, but local CBS affiliate WFSB in Hartford, Connecticut has been naming winter storms for more than 40 years.

WFSB meteorologist Mark Dixon says the station will only name a storm if it's expected to bring more than 6" of snow, or at least 0.5" of ice for a large portion of their viewing audience. Today's coastal storm doesn't make the cut, and Dixon said his station will not be calling it Athena, either.

In fact, the vast majority of forecasting outlets are rejecting the storm names, including the National Weather Service. Even other TV stations owned by the same company as the Weather Channel are avoiding the arbitrary names! So, what if a storm that's named for a Greek god or goddess ends up being an epic dud?


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