More Winter Storms- What’s in a Name?

Uncategorized

 

That which we call a winter storm. By any other name would be just as cold, wet and gross… All apologies to Shakespeare for that one- LOL.

A significant portion of the country is currently being impacted by Winter Storm Inga. Yesterday the system was responsible for causing some serious travel headaches in Texas, with over 500 flights being cancelled in Houston alone. Things aren’t going to get better anytime soon as Inga continues to blast its way eastward through the south and up the east coast. Snowy conditions are expected from North Carolina to Maine today and tomorrow.

There is another round of nastiness on deck that will hit the West, Plains and Midwest starting tomorrow. This system carries a significant potential for heavy snowfall, with 1-2 feet possible in higher elevations across the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains. The next Weather Channel winter storm name is Jaxon – From the son of Jack, which was a nickname for John in the Middle Ages.

This is the sixth year that the Weather Channel has been naming winter storms. So what does it take for a storm to be named? Well, a designated committee of Weather Channel meteorologists decides which systems should be named based upon meteorological and societal factors. Generally speaking, at a minimum the system must usually meet the winter storm warning thresholds established by the National Weather Service of 2 million people or 400,000 square kilometers potentially affected. However, exceptions are made from time to time including events with unique or historical significance- think snow accumulation in South Florida for example.

When the Weather Channel started naming storms, there were a number of nay-sayers. In fact, back in 2012, AccuWeather Founder & President, Dr. Joel N. Myers had this to say “In unilaterally deciding to name winter storms, The Weather Channel has confused media spin with science and public safety and is doing a disservice to the field of meteorology and public service.” Ouch.

Negative chatter and controversy aside, we admit it’s kinda fun to see what the new names are each year J Here’s a link to the 2017-2018 list- https://weather.com/storms/winter/news/winter-storm-names-2017-2018.  Be sure to read the meanings! From biblical references to popular T.V shows, you can’t say the team at the Weather Channel didn’t put some thought into it…. What’s your favorite?

 

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Categories