A Storm Too Far

November 7th, 2012 at 8:44 pm by under Weather

Why are we now naming winter storms?

Here on the WANE weather blog, we like to share interesting weather information with you that we would not have the time to share during our weathercasts.  Or, share our forecast reasoning so our WANE viewers can get the inside, detailed track on the forecast.

But tonight, I want to take a moment to pose a question and offer my opinion.  Yes, that is right, I am going to offer my opinion on something outside of a weather forecast.

  • Why are now naming winter storms?

Now, let me clarity this by pointing out that I do not include myself in the “we,” but the “we” is actually the Weather Channel.  Yes, TWC is now naming winter storms.  Now, I absolutely understand the reason for naming hurricanes.  Here is the reason why the National Hurricane Center names cyclones:

  • “Experience shows that the use of short, distinctive names in written as well as spoken communications is quicker and less subject to error than the older, more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods. These advantages are especially important in exchanging detailed storm information between hundreds of widely scattered stations, coastal bases, and ships at sea.”

Again, this makes absolute sense.  If I say Katrina or Sandy, you likely remember the devastation they produced.  But is giving a name to a winter storm good practice?   In my opinion, I think this is bad move because you are giving a name to a weather system that is likely not comparable in strength to a hurricane.

I feel this is sensationalism by TWC.

Growing up, I remember the Halloween blizzard of 1991.  Parts of Iowa saw over an inch of freezing rain and ice and parts of Minnesota saw over two feet of snow is about 24 hours.  Now, do you think we should have named this storm?   Could you imagine if I was talking with some friends and said “remember Bob the Blizzard?”  Honestly, I feel this is ridiculous and bad practice.  If we start naming all winter storms, where will it stop?  Will we start to name each little Alberta Clipper that comes through the area?  “How about Clarence the Clipper last week?   That 2″ of snow sure was normal.”

Again, this is just my opinion and who knows, maybe I may be wrong about this, but having been this for a while and I know hype and sensationalism when I see it.  Thanks for reading and enjoy Walt the Warm Weekend.

4 Responses to “A Storm Too Far”

  1. Melinda says:

    I don’t think it is a good idea due to there is so many snow storms that it will be name after name after name and than it will get confusing on what named storm hit what day.

  2. Matt Rudkin says:

    Nicely worded, Jonathan.

  3. Daniel Rose says:

    Its good they named it after women they take everything after they leave and leave you with nothing. They should called winter storms divorces.

  4. Bruce Silcott says:

    One question – Why? I seen that and thought to myself, really. Now we have named snowstorms. It must be an east coast thing. Most Midwest people would say it is just snow, get over it. The Weather Channel trying to be bigger than they really are.