Skip to main content

The Blizzard of 2013, or, Winter Storm Nemo.
Now that “Nemo” is here and gone, I thought I’d offer up a contrary opinion.

I like the names. I think they should be used. I think NOAA and NWS (who, incidentally, gave responsibility for naming tropical cyclones over to a UN-related organization in the 70s  ) should buy in. I think everyone involved should come up with criteria that isn’t arbitrary and is at least scientific. Kinda like the Free University of Berlin already does.

Yes, I said it.

I suppose at this point I should state the following for those incapable of any type of nuance: No, I do not work for the Weather Channel. No, I’m not a fan of the Weather  Channel’s current style. No, I do not work for NBC Universal. No, I do not work for Bain. No, I’m not being paid to “defend their names.”  No, I don’t attend the Free University of Berlin and in fact I’ve never left North America. Yes, it’s sad I have to actually state this to have an opinion, but things have gotten rather binary here over the last four years or so, and why be subtle when you can just be blunt, eh?

The “naming” of cyclones goes back a long, long way.

Cyclones both extratropical and tropical, prior to the 19th century, were named for whatever feast day they fell near or on. Generally. Thus, the St. Lucia Storm, the St. Elizabeth Storm, and others, which had significant effects on the European coasts, and several hurricanes in the Caribbean.

Or, they were named for whatever town they destroyed.  Sort of. Or, they were named for whatever thing. So there are “Nights of the Big Wind” (an actual storm that hit Ireland in 1838) and Grote Mandrenke (a storm that roared through the North Sea in 1362, killing tens of thousands). The Grote Mandrenke is also known as the 2nd St. Marcellus Day Flood (the first occuring in 1219.)

In the late 19th century and early part of the 20th Century, a meteorologist in Australia   named storms after people who irritated him. When he retired, the practice ended until the 1960s.

In the 1940s, US Naval meteorologists began naming the typhoons that roared through the Western Pacific. They had to, as there are often quite a few in action during the peak of the WestPac Typhoon season and there was a war on. A storm that snuck up on a Naval task force (as one did—see Bull Halsey) would mean death to hundreds or thousands of sailors and would have put a great crimp in the war effort. This effort soon was used in the Atlantic.

In 1950, hurricanes were named with the phonetic alphabet, and finally in 1953, women’s names were used.  The public was receptive to the idea and 1954-1955 seasons both bought blockbuster storms to the US East Coast. In 1977, control was turned over to the WMO, who used a regional committee to select the names that alternate male/female.  We’ve basically been using the same lists that rotate every 6 years ever since (with retirements).

Most basins have their own lists, based on regional languages, and coordinated by the WMO with regional authorities to an extent (The Philippines still give separate names to the typhoons that strike the island chain, so a given typhoon can have 2 different names). The South Atlantic is an area that doesn’t, as tropical cyclones are very rare there. I’m not sure what will happen when science finally recognizes tropical cyclones happen in the Mediterranean although they’re generally rare and short-lived and seem to occur at times of year much different from the rest of the North Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Almost no governmental authority officially names extratropical storms (Finland and Norway’s weather services names notable storms that affect their nations), even though they can and often do have distinct low pressure centers and other associated weather. But they do get names in part of the world.

In 1954, Dr. Karla Wege suggested that both highs and lows that affected Central Europe get names. A list was drawn up of 260 male names (for highs) and 260 female names (for lows). All features get names, not just the ones that are threatening. Until the 1990s, the practice was used mainly in and around Berlin, but severe storms began to get wider notice and now the practice is very common and popular across Germany and the rest of Europe. The names for highs and lows now alternate between male/female, a change that occurred in 1998.  As a university is responsible for maintaining the lists, they chose a novel way to fund it: Adopt-A-Vortex.

Storms may still be named differently in other nations outside of Germany. Norway names notable storms that affect their nation; however the list maintained by the FU is quite popular among the public and media.

I find it interesting that Wikipedia seems to have adopted the practice as well, for European extratropical cyclones. While they don’t obviously list the storms that occur in every season (remember, they’re all named regardless), they do for the ones that are severe. At present they’re resisting for North American storms.

Enter the Weather Channel.

Now, it’s already been stated that the practice of naming extratropical storms (winter storms) is not an outlier. The public has given names to various storms (which the media has picked up) for decades as well. Mention “The Blizzards of ’93, ’96, ’78, or ‘03” and people will know exactly what you’re talking about (sort of, depending on where one lives in the US).   Or, recently, “Snowtober, Snowmaggedon, Snowmaggedon II”, and so on. Even among media some stations already do name storms. NBC10 in Philadelphia experimented with it in the 1990s (it lasted a season), and a station in Connecticut has been naming them for decades. These are admittedly marketing experiments. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t. It’s very clear that on the Weather Channel’s end, they want to gain viewers for their rather crappy channel. I’m pretty sad about their crapitude, given there are some great scientists who work for them even among their on-air talent. I think if they got back to their original format and stopped airing these dumbass reality shows, they’d be back to being great.

Some of their rationale:

The question then begs to ask “Why aren’t winter storms named?”  In fact, in Europe the naming of weather systems has been going on for a long time.  Here in the U.S., summer time storms including thunderstorms and tornadoes occur on such a small time and space scale that there would be little benefit and much confusion trying to attach names to them. However, winter weather is different. Winter storms occur on a time and space scale that is similar to tropical systems.

In fact, historically many major winter storms have been named during or after the event has occurred. Examples include “The President’s Day Storm” and “Snowmageddon.” Yet, until now, there has been no organized naming system for these storms before they impact population centers.

One of the reasons this may be true is that there is no national center, such as the National Hurricane Center, to coordinate and communicate information on a multi-state scale to cover such big events. The National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) does issue discussions and snowfall forecasts on a national scale but it does not fill the same role as the NHC in naming storms. Therefore, it would be a great benefit for a partner in the weather industry to take on the responsibility of developing a new concept.  

This is where a world-class organization such as The Weather Channel will play a significant role. We have the meteorological ability, support and technology to provide the same level of reporting for winter storms that we have done for years with tropical weather systems.

Makes perfect sense to me. I’m okay with that. TWC was always for-profit. If they want to make money,  go right ahead.

Now, their criteria is arbitrary and silly. It’s based on impacts to population, rather than anything scientific. I think their methodology needs considerable work with a lot of collaboration between many different entities, even though I think the idea of names is a great one.

But some of your reactions are rather ridiculous. Let’s address some of the ones I’ve seen across the entire internet.

“They’re doing it to usurp the Weather Service’s authority!”

Are they? This criticism is very common and yet I don’t see any evidence of that. It certainly is true that there have been several attempts to privatize the weather service, most notably led by Accuweather and former Senator Santorum. It should be noted here that Accuweather is against the idea of naming winter storms. The idea is not popular amongst the private weather services at all, and I frequent the sites and blogs of several meteorologists in the private sector.

“It’ll confuse the public! And that will cause danger!”

Will it? Again, evidence is not in hand. When you want weather news, assuming you’re not a “Weather Weenie” like me, where do you go? Most likely, your local media. Perhaps you have a favorite station.  Where I live (Harrisburg TV Market), I very much prefer ABC 27. Harrisburg’s TV Market is rather huge, and we can have remarkably different weather impacts across the area. ABC27 focuses on Harrisburg and its immediate suburbs, generally. WGAL Channel 8 is good for the southern part of the TV market. When I lived near Lancaster, I relied on their weather forecasts. In addition, I grew up in suburban Philadelphia and always used WCAU Channel 10, even after they switched from a CBS station to an NBC station in 1995. Some people in Philly swear by Channel 6 (who got their weather info from Accuweather and who didn’t have a meteorologist until recently. Dave Roberts? He was good, great even, but he wasn’t a met.) At any rate different stations may have different forecasts. ABC27 was remarkably wrong with “Nemo.” Channel 8 rather nailed it. In 1996 Channel 6 totally bombed the Blizzard of ’96. Channel 10 did a lot better. We won’t discuss the great fizzle of March, 2001, though. Everyone sucked in that case.

(Okay, I confess a little here, I stuck with WCAU because I had a crush on John Bolaris. No, I’m snarking. Or am I?)

As for the “confuse the public” part of the criticism, watch what comes out of NOAA’s Hurricane Sandy post-operational assessment. There’s been a significant amount of conversation and debate over the National Weather Service’s actions regarding the warning around that storm. You all may recall the National Hurricane Center issued no official hurricane warnings for any point north of the NC/VA border. It has been argued that they should have issued official hurricane warnings for the coast all the way through Maine.

I’ve read rumors that they really wanted to but didn’t because the Forecast Offices didn’t want to—precisely for the “confuse the public reason.” Sandy was not tropical at landfall, and was forecast to be post-tropical by the Forecast Offices and the NHC for almost a full week in advance, and it probably wasn’t tropical for most of the day before it made landfall in New Jersey, but an argument has been made that people heard the forecasts about the storm not being a tropical one and discounted its strength. It seems they did with Mayor Bloomberg’s first announcements Saturday before the storm, causing Governor Cumuo to step in to shut down the mass-transit system. We’ll see if the argument holds up, but it’s worth noting some forecast offices were remarkably vociferous with their warnings (the office that serves most of the Philadelphia region, for example) and some were not (the office that serves New York City).  If the argument holds up, then who confused the public? The media (who screamed their fool heads off for several days before Sandy, the Weather Channel and members of this site included) or the Weather Service?

“It isn’t science based!”

Well, you’re right there. It really isn’t. I really would like to see more science based rubrics. Or, conversely, simply name all the low features like they do in Europe. At any rate, I’d love to see collaboration between everyone on this. The ball for this is entirely in the Weather Channel’s court, in my opinion.

“Winter storms can’t be tracked!”
Obviously not true, if Europeans have been doing so for decades. Fronts aren’t just lines on the map. They’re attached to distinct, discrete low pressure centers. They may be fairly diffuse, but they exist. Now, with events like lake-effect snows, it might be a bit tough there.

And obviously, “It’s just marketing.” It sure is. As I’ve said, I’ve no problem with them making money.

At any rate, this is just what I think. I hope this isn’t construed as a defense of corporatism. I grew up watching the Weather Channel for fun. I miss the old guard like John Hope. A lot of the faces I grew up with are still there, however (Mike Seidel, Jim Cantore and Vivian Brown, for example) and they’ve added faces I know from other media like Bryan Norcross. But the channel is a shell of its former self. They somehow made money being science-based in the 80s and 90s. I hope they try to go back to that.

I feel the names are a good idea and I think, long term, they’ll catch on with good, solid scientific criteria for naming. For simple ease of tracking, I've got no problem with it. After all, we name tropical cyclones. That’s what I want to see.

Floor’s yours, y’all.

Originally posted to SciTech on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:43 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  Nemo? #%^!!& TWC Fail. Need better names. (20+ / 0-)

      It's pretty easy to see from the media response that naming is going to stick. Despite what the Dude says.

      We need a better process to determine which storms to name and we need better names.

      TWC has lost its right to name by choosing such shitty names and having such a pathetic process.

      Nicely done.

      And to all the no respond to tip jar defenders:

      I don't care if you HR me.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:17:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I like that people respond to the tipjar (9+ / 0-)

        I encourage people do so all the time.

        relax relate release

        by terrypinder on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:44:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  and yes, TWC sucks (6+ / 0-)

        no one can disagree with that, even if they have the great Bryan Norcross now.

        relax relate release

        by terrypinder on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:35:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  TWC does not suck! They have some very good (0+ / 0-)

          scientists there who care about what they show the public.  Do they have way too much other programming?  Of course they do, but that is how they can afford to have good scientists and other people who help produce the show.  They have to get money some way.  Would you rather see 5 minutes of ads?

      •  I agree. If they want to name them fine, whatever (16+ / 0-)

        But choose some better names. Every time I saw Nemo mentioned on blogs or social media, it was a joke in reference to Finding Nemo. If they want us to take serious storms seriously, they need to stop naming them after cartoon characters.

        I just can't wait for Blizzard Beavis and Superstorm Butthead.

        "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

        by yg17 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:49:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This^^^^^ (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, Onomastic, stormicats, BYw

          For God's sake, better names!  I don't much care if they pick them from literature, but they had to know that most people were going to associate Nemo with the Disney character more than Captain Nemo of the Jules Verne books.

          And "Gandolf", deliberately misspelled by one letter?  Umm, yeah, no thinly veiled effort to circumvent copyright there.

          But yeah, some real, at least slightly defensible criteria for the naming threshold would be nice.  

          I thought naming winter storms was pretty stupid initially, but I can see a benefit to it, if only to help make people more aware of an incoming storm.  But picking stupid names isn't going to help people take them seriously.

          •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

            "Gandolf" spelled with the "o" was a character in an earlier novel, William Morris's The Well at the World's End (1896), So this wouldn't avoid copyright issues.

            My guess is that it was an accidental misspelling, not a deliberate one. As an editor, I see these kinds of mistakes all the time.

          •  Sorry I see naming every big storm (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tommymet, Paper Cup

            as a continuation of the juvenile-ation of America, akin to the fact that there are pretty, blinking "xmas lights" for every holiday now: Easter lights, Halloween lights, Memorial day lights (which I guess you can leave up for Fourth of July), etc., etc.

            A furtherance of the way that most products for men are sold the exact same way that they sell products for little boys. The way that cars and trucks are starting to resemble Tonka toys for tots. It used to be that toys for little children were "cartoon-ized" mostly to make the surfaces easy to grip and make them friendlier-looking. Now adult vehicles have begun to resemble the cartoon toys designed to entice children. Is the fact that children are being sold adult-style "sexy" clothes a reflection of the sexualization of children, or the infantilization of adults?

            It's a storm. It doesn't need a name. The fact that so many Americans can't focus on something unless it is "marketed" to them, and made cute and toy-like, is pathetic.

            America has become a nation of grown-up infants. No wonder we can no longer govern ourselves. We aren't adults.

            •  so hurricanes should cease being named? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BYw

              relax relate release

              by terrypinder on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:31:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hurricanes are a special case (0+ / 0-)

                Tropical cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons) are storms that develop naturally out of a specific weather phenomenon. They develop sequentially over a known period of time and evolve and devolve in a predictable manner (though their path and strength are not specifically predictable). Since we know there will be 'X' number of hurricanes every hurricane season, we have a choice of calling them one, two, three, etc. or naming them alphabetically. It's a question of simple bookkeeping.

                Winter storms, however, are unpredictable. Some years we get a nor'easter, some not. Naming them serves no practical purpose beyond marketing fear and sensationalism. And starting the naming sequence at 'N' for Nemo makes the practice even more juvenile and stupid.

                This is also why we don't name tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards that don't originate in the north atlantic, tsunamis, and every other dangerous natural phenomenon.

                So, yeah, I maintain my original assertion, naming this storm Nemo was an example of the juvenile-ization of America. As a nation we are becoming so stupid and childlike we are easily led by marketers and too many of us eagerly embrace our degradation into feckless adult-children.

                •  it's hard for it to be "juvenile-zation (0+ / 0-)

                  unless Europe is also "juvenile."

                  as stated in the diary, they've named winter storms for 60 years, and the names are widely used in both popular media and the scientific community.

                  I think you're a bit wrong.

                  relax relate release

                  by terrypinder on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:03:54 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Nemo is *my* name (0+ / 0-)

          or rather it was my sock's name.  Sha Nemo was my alter ego many years ago.  It was mute until after I gave a GBCW speech and resigned from an e-group. Sha Nemo spoke up then to shame them all for their scandalous treatment of me.  Only yahoo groups had taken over e-groups and unbeknownst to me was including RL names in the headers of posts. That's when I became houyhnhnm and I have never been tempted to set up sock again.  I learned my lesson.

          Light is seen through a small hole.

          by houyhnhnm on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:38:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nemo begs to be mocked (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Paper Cup

        unfortunately there aren't any appropriate clips on YouTube of "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."

        the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

        by happymisanthropy on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:21:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What's wrong with Nemo? (0+ / 0-)

        Words have meanings other than those attached by Disney.

        "Nemo" is actually a smart and funny dig at the "Winter storms don't have names" people.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 06:13:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Good, well-reasoned diary (5+ / 0-)

      I absolutely disagree with your premise, but you did a good job of presenting it.

    •  I live in Connecticut (6+ / 0-)

      and heard two names for this storm. Nemo and Charlotte. Both are marketing schemes from the organization that named it. I have no problem with names for winter storms... IF there is some international or at least continental standard, perhaps similar to the naming of tropical storms in different oceans, as you reminded us. And standardized by some non-commercial entity, NWS or some UN affiliate, again similar to tropical storms. I intensely dislike their commercialization.

      picking off right-wingnuts at the ballot box, one vote at a time

      by JohnMac on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 07:29:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that's th real problem (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Paper Cup, twigg
        "Both are marketing schemes from the organization that named it."
        Next storm we are going to have every weather-related marketer vying to have THEIR name be the name of the storm. I can't wait 'til Fox News wades in to name every killer storm after Obama or the local democrat running for office. Or worse: Look it's winter storm Welfare! Winter storm Taxes! Winter storm immigrant!

        Naming a winter storm is a stupid idea. Letting marketers do it is even stupider.

  •  All of your points are quite valid. (17+ / 0-)

    However, even given them, I still can't take the Weather Channel people seriously when they talk about "winter storm Nemo" or Magnus, or whatever name they give it.  Why not just give in and name every little front that comes through?  then I can listen to them say "Winter weather system Honey Boo-Boo will dimp approximately 1/4 inch of showers in the San Diego area when it moves through, to be followed by sunny skies and mild temperatures..."  Hey, to some people, that's exceptional weather.  :-)

    /mild snark off

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:53:08 AM PST

    •  But something has changed about the weather (7+ / 0-)

      Having the Weather Service name winter storms is a great idea, to me, if the Weather Service would say:
      "Our climate has changed. This last storm (Nemo, if you will) looked like it was forming an eye. This is what happens with CLIMATE CHANGE. So we will name winter storms, because the hurricane season is no longer confined to June 1 to November 1."

      It can be an educational tool, and we should use it as such.

      •  the "eye" feature really isn't at all rare (10+ / 0-)

        in extratropical storms, even before climate change. It appears tropical (and I admit I purposely used that image for that very reason), but it really isn't. The storm is still extratropical.

        It's called occusion--the cold and warm fronts attached to the surface low have combined and a pool of relatively warm air has become trapped in the center.

        Jeff Masters explains here

        Is it a hurricane or an extratropical storm? Satellite image of Winter Storm Nemo taken at 3 pm EST Saturday, February 9, 2013 shows a very hurricane-like storm. The storm had undergone a process known as "occlusion", which trapped a shallow area of warm air near the center. These "warm air seclusions" are not uncommon in intense wintertime extratropical storms, and Nemo was not very hurricane-like in structure, despite the appearance of this satellite image.
        Now there is a climate change aspect to nor'easters, and that is storm surge. Nor'easters can bring wicked storm surges to the east coast (all of Boston's top storm surges were nor'easters and not hurricanes), and as they'll likely be more intense, they'll bring more damaging surges to an already overdeveloped coast.

        relax relate release

        by terrypinder on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:05:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for attempting to help people make sense (7+ / 0-)

          Of all this.

          I get seriously steamed when people refer to the flood damage of Katrina in New Orleans as "proof of climate change." No it isn't - it was a level three hurricane there. What the flooding after Katrina was proof of is that our levee system is seriously broken, and that the Army corp of Engineers rarely makes intelligent decisions and rarely take s intelligent actions. (As I type this, millions of people could suffer should the broken down levee system around Sacramento Calif get tested by serious flooding. Probably won't happen this year - we aren't slated for much rain. But next year, who knows?)

          I also get steamed when "meteriologists" on CNN or the Weather Channel start saying "Oh my Gawd - Noes! it was -34 in International Fall, MN yesterday night. That is proof of what strange things the weather is doing."

          It is not unusual to have -34 degrees in Northern Mn. That is called "Winter." What is unusual is that now this factoid is beamed into tens of  millions of homes every day, and since most people in Georgia probably never paid attention to the situation with Montana, Minnesota or Idaho cold front weather before, it seems seriously wrong.

          I was really happy for you to spell out the particulars.

          Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

          by Truedelphi on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 01:30:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Can I just arrange to have only the warmest (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marsanges

          air "secluded" over my house? Just asking. Just during winter, you know.

          Last winter wasn't bad, almost no snow at all (after the blizzard of Halloween).

          Sigh.

          I hate winter.

          Hey Punxsutawney Phil, where the hell is our early spring? Ya danged rodent!

    •  AND all your base are belong to us /nt (0+ / 0-)

      Mmmmm. Sprinkles. - H.J. Simpson.

      by ten canvassers on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 07:21:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  TWC bucked the rules (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tommymet

      I think the real issue here is that TWC made a unilateral decision to name winter storms without other major players (NWS, WMO, AMS, other large private organizations) signing on. Professional organizations generally act on consensus. TWC went out on a limb, and now they look foolish.

      •  But it worked, didn't it? (0+ / 0-)

        Got their name in all the papers and across the TeeVee. Both their name and "their" name.

        Great marketing ploy.

        And next storm everyone and their second cousins is going to compete to replicate it. It will be a farce. A bigger farce.

        Heck why doesn't the NOAA just handle it by lottery? Everyone who wants to name the storm buys a ticket with their chosen name. A random drawing determines the winner. The NOAA keeps the money to fund their service.

        Or just sell naming rights like they do stadiums. Here comes Winter Storm The Walking Dead!

        It'll work, I tell ya!

  •  Perhaps... (33+ / 0-)

    ...we should have private industry bid for the naming rights as is done for sporting events, etc.  The Bank of America Blizzard of 2013 has a nice ring to it.  

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:00:06 AM PST

  •  T'ed and R'ed for the reasoned presentation (16+ / 0-)

    If the criteria for naming a winter weather-event were standardized ("science-based rubrics") I could get behind it more easily. As it stands (having just survived Orkos which was not appreciably different from any of the snow-events we've had in the last month... meh) the criteria seem kinda' silly.

    If we go to names, though, I'd like to see "Snowelzebub" on the list :~)

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:07:58 AM PST

  •  Unforgotten storms (6+ / 0-)

    Naming is just fine. Here in Europe. Lothar, Klaus, Wiebke were interesting. I´ll always remember Wiebke, that was a wild winter wind-wise (it was also a mild winter, must have been the air friction), as one can see from the W name (Like the US in 2005 with Wilma, although Wiebke in no way compares to Wilma). Anyhow, we were all already storm exhausted when Wiebke blew through. Only time in my life that I ever impressed present femaledom by a display of muscles when I had to stem rock slabs onto our roof to prevent it from being blown off.

    Now without names it would have been just "way, back, when it was windy" to be confused with everything else since its quite often windy. Aging memory is glad to have names to link back to.

  •  I think naming winter storms is silly. (10+ / 0-)

    I mean, c'mon... we're on "N" with Nemo, and how many have been even remotely memorable? Finally, a storm worth remembering, and they name it after a fish? Not only is it named after a fish, but a fish that was stolen and pretty much didn't do a whole lot while his Dad went nuts trying to find him. I'm sorry, I can't associate the Blizzard of '13 with a fish, cute or not.

    Winter storms name themselves by leaving their marks in our memories. The Blizzard of '78. Snowmaggedon. Names shouldn't be given to the random clipper that zips across the northeast leaving three inches of powder. They should earn them, as they have done.

    •  One might remember that the original Nemo (6+ / 0-)

      Was Captain Nemo, the character created by Jules Verne.

      One can hope the WC chose the name for that, rather than the Disney character.  But unfortunately, all the general public will associate that name with is the little cartoon fish, and so it's an unfortunate choice.

      •  I figured it was for the Captain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Munchkn

        But most people today think of the fish, and not unreasonably. It was a good movie about the ocean and ocean fish coming to shore, and that's not dissimilar to what happened here.

        Still, I think clownfish Nemo was horribly maligned by the naming of this storm. Anyone who watched Finding Nemo knows that he wasn't scary. If the movie was the inspiration, they should have named the storm Darla. Now that's scary.

        •  A lot of people thought it was the fish (0+ / 0-)

          I saw so many people outside building "snowfish" with their kids on Facebook it was crazy.  

          A lot of them sprayed the completed snow fish with orange stripes so it really looked like a clown fish.  

          I live in Florida, they've been naming storms since I was little (I rememer Donna, Betsy & Cleo in the 60's - Camille & Hugo didn't hit us, but I remember them).  Andrew in 1992 of course and Wilma in 2005.  

          Naming storms is easier for the public to deal with as far as getting information goes, but it should be a deliberate set of names that can be retired.  

          Maybe we should have our summer / tropical storm names and then a second list for winter / sub-tropical storms.  

          Rotate them every six years and retire the bad ones.  

          Sandy started out down here, it was still hurricane season and it made sense to leave the name Sandy attached to it, even though it went farther north and got out of the tropics.  It was before 11/30 when the "hurricane season" is supposed to be over, but we've had storms outside of the 6/1 - 11/30 range.  If they're cyclonic or semi-cyclonic, they can be dangerous, no matter where / when they form.  People often forget - it's not the wind, although that can be very bad - it's the storm surge on coastal areas that can cause the most damge.  

          Naming them isn't meant to be cute - when you have them stacked up in the Atlantic like airplanes on a runway (i.e., 2004 and 2005), naming them makes it easier for EVERYBODY to keep track, including the meteorologists.  

           photo 640dcf50-ef4d-4e66-8e1d-1af64b33484d.jpg

          This is from 2005 - it was on the front page of the Miami Herald.  That's the year we ran out of the alphabet and started going with Alpha, Beta... Gamma, etc.  

          In 2004 and 2005, I was tracking a couple of storms at once, because my parents live north of Orlando and I live down south.  We were each hit by two different storms within the same 10 days.  Having the names kept my parents from being confused - first they were hit by Charley, then we had Frances, Jeanne and Ivan to deal with, all pretty much at the same time.  People need to realize that they are in the path of more than one storm - the names makes it easier for them to keep up when we're having a crazy season.  

          "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

          by Ricochet67 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:11:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Because we remember all the hurricanes ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... that have formed in the North Atlantic basin. I'll give you argument some weight if you can name the storm that preceded Katrina from memory or if the storm that followed.

      •  Katrina was followed by Lee (0+ / 0-)

        I only remember because it's my middle name and if I remember correctly, it never got to Hurricane strength.  It was a tropical storm that ended up going north of Bermuda, which seems to be the dividingn line between tropical and sub-tropical.  

        Don't remember the "J" name that came before Katrina - had to be a guy's name if they're altnerating.  

        We had "baby" Katrina hit here before she went on to cream NOLA, Gulfport, MS and the other cities along there.  

        "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

        by Ricochet67 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:16:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Funny--I just sent an email to the Guardian (13+ / 0-)

    slamming them  for buying into the Nemo scheme.

    But worded far better than my letter is this from Gawker:

    Here

    In any case, names like 'Snowmageddon' are just entertaining names for a few big storms meant to engage the public.  Like 'Big Ass Snowstorm'.  People had fun with it.

    TWC with their alphabetical naming scheme of complicated fronts that often aren't independent systems is just nonsense.  Maybe some people will remember 'Nemo', more will remember 'Blizzard of 2013'--but there's really no basis for this alphabetical storm silliness except an extra buck.

    And given that TWC is on the decline--I'd rather not see them try to run the agenda on this sort of thing.

    Is calling something 'Nemo' endangering the public?  Unlikely.  But it's not part of any reasonable system that makes any sense--as the naming scheme for tropical cyclones.

  •  They should pick one name and stick with it. (5+ / 0-)

    "Snowmaggedon" seems popular. Just add Roman numerals to the end like they do for the Superbowl so folks know which "Snowmaggedon" you're talking about. But unlike the Superbowl there can be multiple Snowmaggedons per year. I'll leave it to the experts to determine the criteria for a storm to be classified as a "Snowmaggedon" instead of just a "winter storm."


    Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

    by jayden on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:25:25 AM PST

  •  Aww Come On (8+ / 0-)

    If you live the northern half of America winter is something that happens every year.  Some storms are worse than others. Deal with it. Naming them serves no purpose as most people don't care and the rest will easily forget about them as Spring approaches.

    Give peace a chance get up and dance... Alvin Lee/Ten Years After

    by Blue Collar on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:33:59 AM PST

  •  Meh (16+ / 0-)

    I live in the northeast. It was a nor'ester. That's enough.

    I grew up in Chicago. Lived in Michigan a few years and now the mountains of upstte New York. Snow is snow. Storms are stroms.

    I guess I really have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand you show a picture of a nor'ester like that seen above and it looks much like a hurricane so why not? And sometimes the storms really do merit the same concern and consideration. There was one hell of a lot of wind with this last storm. So I can see applying the same rationale.

    However... when the sensationalist weather channel and other news outlets start using color coded threat charts amidst their naming of winter storms I'm just about ready to puke. I understand completely that we are facing climate change. I can see it for myself in the weather. But that shit they pull is all about ratings and consumerism. "Nemo" is about selling save-my-ass-I'm-a-scared storm products. Fuck that.

    It was a nor'ester. Seen plenty of them and as long as I get to stay in the northeast I'll see plenty more. I'll name them by mont and year. Good enough. All you young whippersnappers can have your named storms. Taint like it was when I was a boy and we had to walk up hill both directions in our storms without any names! or shoes!  

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:36:13 AM PST

    •  As a Canadian (0+ / 0-)

      I was hella confused by references to 'Nemo' in the American media (we don't get your WC but we get networks and CNN and so forth).  My reaction was basically, "Who the hell is Nemo??"  When I understood it to be the name of the storm, my gut-reaction was instantly 'hyperbolic marketing ploy' with an eye-roll. 'Round here, we just call it 'winter' and it is memorable enough - in fact, it's hard enough to forget without the names.

      When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die. - Linkin Park

      by mystery2me on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:06:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Turn it over to Canada to name them (7+ / 0-)

    I would hope they use hockey fighting stars because they kick your ass.  Winter Storm Probert.  Blizzard Tootoo.  Nor'easter Domi. Whiteout Semenko.  Snow Gale Grimson.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:10:17 AM PST

  •  If The Weather Channel were a reputable (28+ / 0-)

    organization like it used to be instead of an infotainment profit machine that vaguely resembles a shell of its former self, I might not have so much of a problem with it.

    It's part of the continued dumbing down of meteorology for consumption by an increasingly uneducated public. They're more interested in their bottom line than informing the public -- don't get me wrong, that's okay, but don't pretend that they're in it for us instead of themselves.

    If they had mature names ("Q?" Come on.), more consistent criteria than "it has to have an impact," and they had the integrity they once had, it might not be such a problem.

    Facebook
    If you say "gullible" real slow, it sounds like "green beans."
    "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." -- Debbie Wasserman Schultz

    by weatherdude on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:15:27 AM PST

  •  No on marketing hype (9+ / 0-)

    That is reason enough to be opposed to this naming. The problem with TWC is that they hype severe weather even worse than the local TV stations. That marketing bias has to work in opposition to forecasting accuracy.

    I get my weather info from either a Weather Underground web scrape (on my phone) or a Mac program which gets it straight from the NWS. Neither have bought into the naming, and both are quite accurate.

  •  I do wish they picked better names (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrypinder, maryabein

    but otherwise I'm totally with you.  I have no idea why this naming is upsetting people.

  •  The Weather Channel became like MTV very little (5+ / 0-)

    music only it's very little weather except for THE BIG STUFF.

  •  Well that certainly looks more like a tropical (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrypinder, Onomastic

    storm than the run of the mill nor'easter.

    I've noticed that swirling developed over the NE part of the country in the '00s. I don't remember that happening very frequently back in the day.

    But sheesh, if that doesn't look like a hurricane... name it, sure, but there's no need to market it.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:07:32 PM PST

  •  My different suggestion (5+ / 0-)

    A meteorologist in Northern Michigan
    www,johndee.com performs daily snow forecasts.
    He pioneered a system that categorizes snow storms based on impact  - snow+ winds+ temp+ ice)  Similar to hurricanes, he rates a storm as a category (ie Cat 1-5) with cat 5 being all out blizzard conditions.

    The modern problem with snow forecasting is a significant storm may force a category 4 or 5 impact upon a community while missing another community completely. Sometimes the center of a storm travels a simple 50 miles north or south of a predicted spot and unloads upon a totally different area.

    By focusing on the relative potential of the storm, meteorologists can account for shifts of storm tracts better.

    My pet peeve is when a lazy TV or radio meteorologist force feeds the forecast to fit a 20 second sound bite with no explanation on variables that could change the result on snow totals.

    My vote is to not name storms- but focus on their potential to reek havoc, and the proximity to a given location.

  •  I am all for getting people's attention to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrypinder, Onomastic, marsanges

    severe weather (and blizzards are severe) and if naming them gets people's attention then I am for it.  Besides, the climate changing will challenge us in ways that, so far, are under reported.  I also noted that some damn fools decided to drive in that storm and got stuck, but probably far fewer than if people thought this was to be just another snow event rather than a pretty big storm.  As for the names, I don't care how they name them; a name is just a name.

  •  I agree with you on two points. (8+ / 0-)
    [The Weather Channel] is a shell of its former self. They somehow made money being science-based in the 80s and 90s. I hope they try to go back to that.
    Yes it is, and me too.
    I feel the names are a good idea and I think, long term, they’ll catch on with good, solid scientific criteria for naming. For simple ease of tracking, I've got no problem with it.
    As long as the National Weather Service does the naming, I've got no problem with it either.  Until they do, I will continue to ignore the stupid names TWC devises as a way to use fear to drive up their ratings and site hits.

    "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

    by JBL55 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:24:24 PM PST

  •  Also- depending upon locale- storms have differing (4+ / 0-)

    impacts.

    A 2-3 inch snowfall may close most businesses and schools in the Atlanta. However, it may take a 15 + snowfall to close schools in a metropolitan region such as the Twin Cities . The Twin Cities has many more snow plows and literally mountains of road chemicals waiting to be used.

  •  Here's what will REALLY confuse the public. (6+ / 0-)

    When AccuWeather or another of TWC's for-profit competitors decides to adopt the same tactic and gives the same storm a different name.

    TWC's names just aren't catching on with the general public.  In all my conversations with people before, during, and after the storm, only one person used the word "Nemo."  The National Weather Service has issued a directive to all its arms not to use TWC's names in any of their communications.  Skywarn (at least in my area) is also not using them, and with a handful of notable exceptions, my contacts in the storm chasing community have been poo-pooing the names.

    I give TWC's experiment one more year, after which it will be quietly abandoned.

  •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    And on the note of things being binary around here, I agree. Some diarists/ commentators who I will not name , kinda laughed off this storm as well as Sandy, before they hit.

    Sorry but just because it is a winter storm and lacks the destructive visuals of a hurricane or tornado, does not mean it is not important to some people. Yes it is 'just snow' but snow is heavy, cold, and quite wet. it causes damage and takes lives, and in a reality based community I hate to see that mindset.

  •  NOT by the Weather Channel! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bevenro, twigg

    they have NO authority in this

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 02:48:16 PM PST

  •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

    I was just thinking along these same lines yesterday--that even though the names may need a little improvement, I find it helpful to have a clearer association with a given storm.

    Also, I continue to use the Weather Channel's website for local day-to-day weather information. I tried to use the National Weather Service website, but when I put in my town name or zip code, they give me information that's actually from a different town about an hour's drive away, and which is in the valley, whereas I'm on a ridge. We can have totally different weather in these two towns at any given moment. I found that rather bogus. The Weather Channel, on the other hand, provides information from the small airport right at the edge of my town. Why doesn't the NWS do this? I don't know.

    •  You can drag the "box" to your map point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chantedor

      I use the NWS / NOAA site too, but when I put in my zip code it goes to Ft. Lauderdale on the coast (I'm inland in western Broward).  

      On the right side, about half way down the page, there's "click map for forecast" box.  

      Use the zoom and directional areas to locate your spot on the map - I live on a lake, so I just go west along the highway until I find the cross street going south, then zoom to find "my" lake and click on it.  The highlighted green box will move to your area and the temperatures and things will update for the neighborhood you clicked on.  

      I have to make sure of my local temps, rather than the next big town, so I know when to bring my son's pet iguana inside. The variation can be 7-10 degrees from my house to the coast and that could be bad for her - it might be 62 in Ft. Lauderdale but 55 at my house.  I don't leave her outside in her big habitat below 60, at her age, the cold really affects her, so I bring her inside to her indoor habitat.  

      "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

      by Ricochet67 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:24:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can we give storms last names too? (0+ / 0-)

    And exotic names, too? When's the last time you've heard of a Hurricane João or Tropical Storm Xaver?

  •  "Tell them Nemo did this to you." (0+ / 0-)

    I realize that "Nemo" is supposed to be some kind of marketing synergy, but the name goes to Odyssey. That is the name that Odysseus offers to Polyphemus when he blinds him (literally, "no one").

    Jules Verne uses the name because it had been Odysseus's pseudonym when fighting with Poseidon's son.

    Now, if they want to stick with explorers or with anti-heroes or with literary works, then that's fine, but if they want children's movies, then it's stupid.

    Everyone is innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:21:49 PM PST

  •  Hoo-ray---I agree. What's the BFD about attaching (0+ / 0-)

    a name to  a storm?  

    We've gotten used to named hurricanes for years.....

    Much ado about nothing....IMO.

    Is putting the tag "Nemo" really any different than "snowmegeddon", or "snowmegeddon II"??

  •  Please, no on the naming. It's a solution (5+ / 0-)

    to a problem that doesn't exist.  The last thing we need is for the TWC newscasters to gush and hyperventilate over winter storms with phony names.  A corporately named storm has all the legitimacy of an airport named after Reagan.

  •  It was a fictional blizzard (0+ / 0-)

    that led to the naming of storms:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/..._(novel)

  •  East Coast Blizzard of '13 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Munchkn, mystery2me

    is just fine with me.

  •  If The Weather Channel can name storms... (0+ / 0-)

    ...then why can't I?

    Since storms do damage, let's name them after people who do damage, not fictional characters out of Jules Verne.

    Storm Bush, anyone? Storm Cheney? But then this one primarily affected New England, so maybe Sununu or LePage would be more appropriate.

  •  Naming is stupid. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wednesday Bizzare, mystery2me

    A stupid gimmick for a stupid public that craves the opportunity to be flipped out, an opportunity that comes from a TV show that counts on flipping out people to make a profit.
    Wanna jack viewership? Keep announcing deaths, and don't name the storm until some "exciting" threshhold is reached.
    OK people! We've reached that magic number!Ten dead and welcome, winter storm Purbrook!

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:56:37 AM PST

  •  Name storms for Republican legislators n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wednesday Bizzare

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:58:15 AM PST

  •  Names or claims? (0+ / 0-)

    When I first heard this idea months ago, my first reaction was to worry that it would give property insurors one more excuse to deny claims.

    Underwriters just  l-♥-v-e  policy clauses that allow them to say "Sorry, not covered."  Already it seems pretty standard to raise the deductible for damage caused by a named hurricane or tropical storm.

    Thankfully, those names are controlled by NOAA, and not a ratings-hungry cable channel.

    Instead of names, blizzards could be given individual, wordless, dramatic-sounding musical introductions of the sort that already beloved by news producers for introducing live reporter-in-a-snowbank "coverage".

  •  The station in Connecticut you refer to.. (0+ / 0-)

    is WFSB TV 3, the CBS affiliate in Hartford, which named this storm "Charlotte" after one of the kids whose parent works for Ch.3. (All the named storms in the 2012-13 season strong enough to be named will feature the names of kids whose parents work for Ch. 3). This tradition in the Hartford area goes back to 1971, under the old Travelers Weather Service. (ie, the famed Blizzard of 1978 was named Larry).

    While I do agree that the Weather Channel should drop or seriously curtail their reality shows, I heartily disagree about the Channel being "crappy".

    I just loved the fact TWC named this latest storm "Orko" and will have a storm later in the year (month) named "Q",yes after the John DeLancie character from "Star Trek:The Next Generation".

  •  No, I disagree. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mystery2me, Paper Cup

    This business of naming non-cyclonic, extra-tropical storms should stop before it really gets going.

    Everything does not need a name.  What's wrong with the "Blizzard of 2013", anyway?  When we say "Blizzard of 78", everybody knows what it means and when it happened.

    Quick, "Hurricane Bertha", without running to the internets to look it up...

    Although I think it probably started with us New Englanders back about 1991 with the "No Name Storm".  (Which now has a retroactive name.)

  •  There's only one name for 20 inches of snow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    p gorden lippy, Paper Cup

    Bloody Fucking Hell.

    You don't shovel that much snow. You cut it and stack it. Cut a hole in the plowbank for the mailbox.

    Don't use a "snow" shovel either, unless you can use it to push the snow. Buy a "coal" shovel. Smaller, lighter, easier on the back load; nice long handle for leverage.

    NEMO???? What did the even mean? Disney names storms now? What's next the Cinderella Storm?

    Since nasty nor'easters are rarer (we hope) than hurricanes, calling them the Blizzard of 'XX  puts them in historic context. The Blizzard of '78 will always be the Blizzard of '78, even when the next '78 rolls around in 65 years.

    Then there are the folklore names (No Name Storm, April Fools Storm).

    I don't care what you call it; it was a Bloody Fucking Hell of a storm.

    Peace on Earth was all it said.

    by BobBlueMass on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:44:03 AM PST

  •  winter storms are different. How do you name the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    2 low's that came together to form this big nor-eater? One came up from the Gulf, the other slid along the US-Canadian border across Minnesota and Michigan. It' was only when they merged that all the merd hit the fan. Do you call them father-of-Nemo and mother-of-Nemo? You can see how quickly this gets silly.

    It's much more confusing because of that than it is to name hurricanes and tropical storms. Hurricanes begin as tropical lows, can become storms, can become hurricanes. They are discrete entities that remain so even as they run up the coast or inland or cross Central America, very much unlike winter storms, which rise and fall rapidly in intensity as they pick up or lose energetic system inputs.

    To me, the best reason for naming has been mentioned by others, above, which is that it may get some people to pay more attention to a given weather event. That said, it will take a lot more planning and higher standards than the attention whores at TWC to get my vote.

    Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:29:55 AM PST

  •  What about WFSB in Connecticut? (0+ / 0-)

    The local CBS affiliate has been naming winter storms for decades. Now the big bad Weather Channel gets to stomp all over their tradition?

    No names needed. From anybody.

  •  NWS Buffalo (0+ / 0-)

    has named lake-effect storms in their region since 1998-1999, but only retroactively as a way of keeping track. For instance the public will never see "Lake Effect Storm Beryllium drops a foot of snow" on the news, since the name is only given later. I like such a low-key solution for LES storms because of the ease of record keeping. However, I'm not sure the public is well served by this very official and in-your-face naming from TWC. For one thing, European countries that name every low pressure system (virtually) don't have to worry about hurricanes. Giving an official name to every Alberta Clipper makes the names meaningless when a significant storm comes along (and I think the same applies to the National Hurricane Center's recent habit of naming every blob in the Atlantic).

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site