The Weather Channel said Tuesday it would start
naming winter storms the way the National Hurricane Center names tropical
storms and hurricanes.
"This is where a world-class organization such as The
Weather Channel will play a significant role," the channel said in announcing
the move. "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."
Storms won't be named until three days before impact to make
sure that they will actually produce significant effects on a populated area.
The channel gave a number of reasons for the decision,
including that it would make it easier to communicate the "threat and
timing" of such storms. It pointed out that winter storms do sometimes get
names, but generally only after the fact, like "Snowmageddon" or
"The President's Day Storm."
It pointed out that weather systems, including winter
storms, have been named in Europe since the 1950s and that naming potentially
life threatening storms 1) raises awareness; 2) makes it easier to follow its
progress; 3) gives it a personality, "which adds to awareness"; 4)
makes it easier to reference in social media; and 5) "might even be fun