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The Weather Channel Now Naming Winter Storms for 2012/2013, and Here's the List


The Weather Channel has decided to name winter storms like they do tropical storms and hurricanes. Most of this year's storms seems to be named after Greek or Roman gods and historical figures, with the exception of Q, which is named after the NYC subway line that runs up Broadway (not kidding).

They explain why the naming has begun:

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. 

  • 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.

The process for naming a winter storm will reflect a more complete assessment of several variables that combine to produce disruptive impacts including snowfall, ice, wind and temperature. In addition, the time of day (rush hour vs. overnight) and the day of the week (weekday school and work travel vs. weekends) will be taken into consideration in the process the meteorological team will use to name storms.

Explanation from TWC of the names listed above, AFTER THE JUMP...

Athena: The Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspirations, justice, mathematics and all things wonderful.

Brutus: Roman Senator and best known assassin of Julius Caesar.

Caesar: Title used by Roman and Byzantine emperors.

Draco: The first legislator of Athens in Ancient Greece.

Euclid: A mathematician in Ancient Greece, the father of geometry.

Freyr: A Norse god associated with fair weather, among other things.

Gandolf: A character in a 1896 fantasy novel in a pseudo-medieval countryside.

Helen: In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy was the daughter of Zeus.

Iago: Enemy of Othello in Shakespeare’s play, Othello.

Jove: The English name for Jupiter, the Roman god of light and sky.

Khan: Mongolian conqueror and emperor of the Mongol empire.

Luna: The divine embodiment of the moon in Roman mythology.

Magnus: The Father of Europe, Charlemagne the Great, in Latin: Carolus Magnus.

Nemo: A Greek boy’s name meaning "from the valley," means "nobody" in Latin.

Orko: The thunder god in Basque mythology.

Plato: Greek philosopher and mathematician, who was named by his wrestling coach.

Q: The Broadway Express subway line in New York City.

Rocky: A single mountain in the Rockies.

Saturn: Roman god of time, also the namesake of the planet Saturn in our solar system.

Triton: In Greek mythology, the messenger of the deep sea, son of Poseidon.

Ukko: In Finnish mythology, the god of the sky and weather.

Virgil: One of ancient Rome’s greatest poets.

Walda: Name from Old German meaning “ruler.”

Xerxes: The fourth king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Xerxes the Great.

Yogi: People who do yoga.

Zeus: In Greek mythology, the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus and the gods who lived there.

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  1. Will Winter Storm Gandolf have a good time in Chelsea?

    Posted by: Gus | Oct 2, 2012 7:48:40 AM

  2. This is a good idea, and I look forward to making jokes about the Wrath of Khan.

    Posted by: Jason 2 | Oct 2, 2012 7:50:15 AM

  3. If Freyr is a Norse god associated with sunshine and fair weather, how did he get associated with winter storms?

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Oct 2, 2012 7:56:18 AM

  4. Is this an Onion article?

    Posted by: Jack M | Oct 2, 2012 7:58:04 AM

  5. "Q" was also the omnipotent God in "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

    Posted by: 99% | Oct 2, 2012 7:58:06 AM

  6. And we're certain this Q isn't the antagonist from Star Trek?

    Posted by: Mark | Oct 2, 2012 7:59:05 AM

  7. oh, oh, I think the gods are going to be very angry about this

    Posted by: i could go on, but I won't | Oct 2, 2012 7:59:11 AM

  8. I prefer to think of that one item on the list as a tribute to John DeLancie.

    Posted by: Jerry | Oct 2, 2012 8:26:33 AM

  9. The Q Continuum is always messing with us.

    Posted by: Mawm | Oct 2, 2012 8:31:45 AM

  10. The Weather Channel has announced they will be naming blizzards in the United States, with some news stations claiming anything other than Hurricane Names from NOAA has not been done before ... it has ...

    Since 2000, what was then Ontario Weather Service changed to Southern California Weather Authority ... has been naming Winter Storms into Southern California. Now, The Weather Channel is trying to do the same, claiming to be the first organization to do so outside of NOAA's naming scale.

    It is pretty appalling that The Weather Channel has decided to go with a smaller Website's idea and claim it their own.

    Coincidence or not it existed and they'll be getting a call today about it. Just because my stuff was not seen by a lot of people did not mean it did not exist. Southern California Weather Authority is the best source for anyone living in Southern California ... hands down you will not find a better source for the region.

    This article has been put into place for SEO (Google Search Purpose) on the topic so people know where the original came from since you'll likely hear about this so-called "new idea" from CNN or FOX.

    Posted by: Senior Meteorologist Kevin Martin | Oct 2, 2012 8:46:45 AM

  11. i predict this will last one season.

    Posted by: Joe | Oct 2, 2012 9:27:12 AM

  12. @Jason 2, I agree. Imagine the fun they'll have: Finding Nemo, the Ukko weather outside, where's Walda, keeping vigil on Virgil, Rocky punches the coast, Yogi's a bear of a storm... Then everyone in the studio will do the professional on-cam chuckle & try not to move their hair. =)

    Posted by: theonlyhankinla | Oct 2, 2012 9:44:19 AM

  13. LOL at some of the made-up explanations to avoid trademark disputes. The Tolkien Estate is no doubt assembling their lawyers now.

    Posted by: endo | Oct 2, 2012 10:26:32 AM

  14. Great idea! I've always wondered why hurricanes had names, but blizzards didn't.

    And the first-year name choices are wonderful!

    Posted by: bcarter3 | Oct 2, 2012 10:38:44 AM

  15. This is pointless. We name hurricanes because they are not readily associated with one geography or point in time. They cause damage over many days, often crossing international jurisdictional lines. The Weather Channel seems to be becoming a parody of itself.

    Posted by: Stefan | Oct 2, 2012 10:58:27 AM

  16. @Stefan They're not planning to apply a name to every storm that drops a few snowflakes on Buffalo. As the write-up states, they'll only be naming "NOTEWORTHY winter storms", like the 2011 Groundhog Day Blizzard, which affected areas from New Mexico to Nova Scotia, cost $1.8 billion, killed ~40, and closed down my own (DC) area for 5 workdays.

    Posted by: bcarter3 | Oct 2, 2012 12:19:51 PM

  17. Methinks Kevin Martin is very upset over something that I doubt anyone gives a crap about.

    Posted by: Sanderson | Oct 2, 2012 12:46:01 PM

  18. "yogi: people who do yoga"


    Posted by: gomez | Oct 2, 2012 6:05:18 PM

  19. I'm a meteorologist and I find this very, very stupid.

    Posted by: william | Oct 3, 2012 12:32:31 AM

  20. really your post is really very good and I appreciate it. It’s hard to sort the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it. You write very well which is amazing. I really impressed by your post.

    Posted by: pr editing | Nov 20, 2012 3:53:30 AM

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