Are you ready for Winter Storm Rocky?
A man in Silver Spring, Maryland, shovels snow to dig out his car after a blizzard in 2010.
October 2nd, 2012
01:23 PM ET

Are you ready for Winter Storm Rocky?

The Weather Channel wants viewers to be on a first-name basis with the foulest of winter weather. The cable channel announced Tuesday that it will give names to the worst winter storms much like the National Hurricane Center does for tropical storms.

“Naming winter storms will raise awareness, which will lead to more pro-active efforts to plan ahead, resulting in less impact on the public overall,” Tom Niziol, the Weather Channel's winter weather expert, said on the channel's website.

Niziol wrote that winter storms are commonly given names in Europe, but he said that the lack of a single authority over winter storms in the United States,  like the hurricane center is the central authority on tropical storms, is one reason why the winter blasts are not named.

That's where the Weather Channel thought it could step in, Niziol wrote.

"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," he wrote.

The Weather Channel said it hopes other meteorological agencies will buy into the naming plan.

Naming winter storms will also make it easier to provide info about them in the age of social media, Niziol said.

"On the occasion that different storms are affecting separate parts of the country, naming storms will allow for clearer communications," he said.

So what names will we see for the winter of 2012-2013? Well, let's just say the Weather Channel is going Greek, at least partly.

Athena tops the A-to-Z list with Zeus at the end. In between are Triton, Draco, Plato and Euclid.

But the list does bring names into modern times.

One winter storm could be named "Q" - that's it, just Q - after the New York subway line.

Another could be named Rocky, after one of the mountains, not the movie.

What name the storm gets will be determined by factors, including the day and time it hits as well as the ice, snow, wind and temperatures it produces, Niziol said.

And the names should be better than the monikers informally bestowed upon winter weather now, such as "Snowmageddon" or "The President's Day Storm," Niziol said.

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Filed under: TV • Weather • Winter weather
soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. sean mccoy

    yea why not if they name storms that come to the coast why not name ice storms and snow storms

    October 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      Because Hurricanes develop over weeks, and winter storms can pop out of nowhere and disappear just as fast? You have at MOST a 5 day warning and that's only with perfect conditions. Most of the time the psycho news media will blow it out of proportion and warn you that 7 feet of snow is coming... and you get half an inch and it melts in 3 minutes.

      October 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • a slozomby

      @god what you dont like snowpocolypse 2012?

      October 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • toomuchBS

      This is really just more for the media to blow out of proportion, they predict 2-19 incles of snow with blizzard conditions, and everybody panics before we get 2 inches of snow. Weather was much simpler before we had computers and whack jobs for meteorologists.

      October 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. a slozomby

    cold front bambi is blew tropical storm peter all over the south east this weekend.

    October 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Regina M

    I'd urge caution on this. Those of us in the hurricane zone have homeowner's insurance policies with 2-5% "named storm deductibles." That means we are out thousands of dollars before the insurers have to pay a penny. If winter storms are also named, the same provisions could be used in homeowner's policies in the snow belt as well. Names may sound cute, but these "named storms" are just inviting insurers to carve out hefty deductibles to reduce exposures that once were covered occurrence, subject only to the policy deductible.

    October 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • WIlliam

      "named storm deductibles"....I'm in CT which has been added to the hurricane zone lists. I may have to check with my agent...good heads up.

      October 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Extremely good point!

      I don't see any point in this; those who watch the Weather Channel, (or their local news weather, for that matter) would get the news that there is a winter storm on the way...giving them cute little pithy names seens rather silly to me.

      October 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Al

    I'm actually surprised they haven't already been given names officially. Blizzards are a dime a dozen, but we've had storms in recent years that have basically been hurricanes with snow.

    October 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RIFlyer

    I have Allstate Insurance and i recieved a letter last year that stated "any damage to my property that occurs during a named storm, the deductable goes from $1000 to 3% of the value of my property ($300,000) or $9,000. Do you suppose the insurance companies had anything to do with it?

    October 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      I wouldn't put it passed the insurance agency's to be involved in this.

      October 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jumbah

    It was hailin' as freak storm Palin blew across the southeast today, leaving an icy path of destruction as predicted. Fortunately, Palin's course was diverted and she never made it to the White House

    October 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bayley0402

      Is that the smelliest cheese there is? If it is, good one!

      October 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Bones

      But she made the HOUSE WHITE. 'Cause it's snow? Like, 'cause it's white? Get it? Anybody?

      Ah, forget it. I don't have to impress you people.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • 583

      And just like that, an article that has NOTHING to do with politics is suddenly littered with pointless comments about the race. You people need to get lives.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • rob

      A.K.A The storm that decided to quit.

      October 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • rob

      Yeah, the storm that just quit.

      October 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sinfully Yours

    The names are just classic. Now I can finally say:

    "I got dumped on by Khan.... KHAAAAAAAAN!"

    October 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • brad

      "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a blizzard outta my hat!"

      October 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bailey

      "Nothing up my sleeve...PRESTO!"

      October 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bayley0402

    Great. Why not name the hot weather we have here in AZ day after day during the summer?

    October 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Vinnie W.

    WFSB in Hartford, CT has been naming our storms since 1971, it is going to be strange to have storms with 2 different names now.

    October 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Guest

    Tornado Timmy's coming....FLEE!!!!

    October 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. D987654321

    Clearly, "Q" is NOT a reference to a subway line, but to John De Lancie's character, "Q," from Star Trek.

    October 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • PapaJoe

      I thought the same thing.

      October 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      I was thinking of James Bond. We're such nerds!

      October 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Me, too.

      October 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jweller

    Sounds like a plain and simple marketing effort by the weather channel to get more eyeballs. Particularly given the arbitrariness and silliness described in this article.

    October 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dennis

    Just a foolish idea. I guess The Weather Channel needed some PR.

    October 2, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bayousara

    If a winter storm is named "Rocky," will it be happening in the Rocky Mountains? Elsewise, it could get a bit confusing.

    October 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BOMBO ©

    Yes I am. And stop calling me Rocky.

    October 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
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