A while back I went on a rant about how stupid it is that we’re naming winter storms now. We as in “They”, which I was assuming was a government thing like NOAA or something. Nope, it’s actually dumber than that. It’s just the Weather Channel’s idea. Let’s hear them try to justify this.
During the upcoming 2012-13 winter season The Weather Channel will name noteworthy winter storms. Our goal is to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation.
That’s, uh, not really a fact. Not even in the way I like to say certain opinions are facts.
Hurricanes and tropical storms have been given names since the 1940s. In the late 1800s, tropical systems near Australia were named as well.
Well yes, because they’re frelling hurricanes.
Weather systems, including winter storms, have been named in Europe since the 1950s.
One word: Pansies.
Important dividends have resulted from attaching names to these storms:
- Naming a storm raises awareness.
- Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.
- A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.
- In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.
- A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future.
All of these are really stupid reasons to name a storm, especially the last one. If the storm wasn’t memorable in the first place, it doesn’t rate.
The question then begs to ask “Why aren’t winter storms named?”
Because it’s stupid. Next question.
In fact, in Europe the naming of weather systems has been going on for a long time.
So have anti-Semitism and the metric system. Your point?
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.
Sure, if you think the words “similar” and “closer” mean the same thing. Tropical systems take weeks to organize. Winter storms, not so much. They’re a completely different animal, altogether.
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.
That’s because if a storm is bad enough, it earns that name. Also, compare this to a name like “Draco” or our current incoming storm “Nemo” and you make the call: Which one sounds awesome? The storm that ate an entire holiday or got a name worthy of a B flick on Syfy (don’t get me started) is so much better. Would people really still talk about the Blizzard of ’93 with such reverence if it was called “Winter Storm Sara”? Frell no. Real winter storm names are earned. And mind you, if it had been called Sara, it’d still have been called the Blizzard of ’93 from then on out.
Also, I dare you to look through their list of names and not snicker in derision. Those are some stupid, stupid names. One of the worst of the bunch: “Gandolf”. I don’t know if someone flunked Spelling For Idiots or just changed it to avoid a trademark dispute, but either way, naming a storm after the greatest wizard of the Third Age and then spelling it wrong is just plain insulting. And did you hear anything significant about “Gandolf” in the news? No you didn’t, because it didn’t rate. Moving on.
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.
Translation: We wanted to do something that made us sound way more important than we actually are in the grand scheme of things, by taking a lead role in naming storms when official organizations haven’t bothered.
That’s right, this idea is so stupid the government isn’t using it.
In addition to providing information about significant winter storms by referring to them by name, the name itself will make communication and information sharing in the constantly expanding world of social media much easier. As an example, hash tagging a storm based on its name will provide a one-stop shop to exchange all of the latest information on the impending high-impact weather system.
If your meteorological reasoning is based on Twitter, you’re doing something wrong.
I can’t quote the rest. It’s too stupid. I’d like to blame this on the Weather Channel being based out of Atlanta, where they don’t know from snow and if a single flake falls they shutdown the roads for two days, but it goes deeper than that. Clearly this is just a naked attempt to puff up their own sense of importance while also creating convenient (albeit moronic) buzzwords with which to incite drama.