Why Do Snowstorms Have Names Now?

Not all meteorologists accept the name game, or acknowledge this storm as Nemo.

In regard to the recent snow storm, we heard some questions about the occasional—but perhaps not frequent—references to the storm as "Nemo."

While it makes for some good jokes about that cute little orange fish, Nemo is not the brainchild of the Disney Corporation, but rather, a pre-determined name The Weather Channel gave to this latest storm. 

If you missed it: The Weather Channel in October announced it would name "noteworthy winter storms" in the 2012-2013 winter season.

Sure, snowstorms have been informally named after the fact (remember Snowtober?) This is the first season, however, that The Weather Channel is naming them as it does hurricanes and tropical storms. The rationale? According to the Weather Channel, names raise awareness, make it easier to follow a weather system's progress, a storm with a name "takes a personality all of its own," and names make it easier to reference in social media.

Twitter backlash included a brief period of #RejectedTWCnames including quips like "Winter Storm Bieber: It's going to be really annoying and won't go away," or "Winter Storm Yoda: Prepare or prepare not, there is no try."

The Weather Channel's naming decision hasn't been accepted by some of its meteorological counterparts, however. AccuWeather, for one, declared that "in unilaterally deciding to name winter storms, The Weather Channel has confused media spin with science and public safety." 

The National Weather Service also doesn't name winter storms.

mplo February 11, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Who cares?
Chuck Anziulewicz February 11, 2013 at 08:35 PM
The Weather Channel really ought to end this pointless publicity stunt of naming winter storms. What gives them the right to do this? Even the National Weather Service had this to say: "The National Weather Service does not name winter storms because a winter storm's impact can vary from one location to another, and storms can weaken and redevelop, making it difficult to define where one ends and another begins." Of course TWC seems to have gone way downhill ever since they were purchased by NBC. I used to turn on TWC first thing in the morning, but now Al Roker just makes me nauseous with all his clowning and self-promotion. Oh LOOK! Al's lost some more weight! It's Al's birthday! Al's on the cover of "Parade" magazine! Al's written a new book! Al's run another marathon! Hooray for Al!


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