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. PapaJoe

    WIth that reasoning, we're in for some major catastrophies if the populace votes in a Mormon liar.

    October 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • JamesS

      According to Obama's official bio from his literary agency, he was listed as being born in Kenya for sixteen years, up until 2007. Now, this is not to raise birther issues, but to point out that he lied about his place of birth to gain minority status until it became politically inexpedient.

      He also ate a dog while visiting Africa with his father, according to his book.

      So you've got a known liar and a dog-eater as president. That make you happy?

      October 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh??

      SO? He was born to an American citizen, making him American, also! He could have been born on the friggin MOON, and if he was born to a citizen of the United States, he's STILL be American!!! And if dog is what they eat in Kenya, so what? Did he eat Lassie? No. Immaterial and specious comment. Maybe one of the storms will be names James, just for you!

      October 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • allthere

      And it doesn't bother you a bit that he lied about being born in Kenya for all those years? Guess not as long as he talks big about soaking the rich (while providing them with tax-free investment opportunities on the sly).

      October 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Why do you seem to think anyone cares what you have to say?

      Here's a hint: No one does. This is an article about naming winter storms, not Obama. But go ahead and keep posting drivel about Obama on unrelated stories, it ensures no one will ever listen to you and files you under "people to ignore" for most readers.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Denver


      October 2, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mattdodier

      Wow... How does it feel to live with your head buried in the sand? Can you still get Faux news down there?

      October 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just for the record

      what grade are you in?

      October 2, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name s kel

      How in the world did cnn allow a racist fool like u on here. I want you in my sights!

      October 2, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave L.

      Obama was born in Hawaii you fool. Another ignorant know-nothng with a double digit IQ. This seems to be rampant in the Republican party.

      October 2, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • ibar

      why does it matter that he ate a dog ??

      October 3, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Hmm

      Mitt Romney and his wife admitted to strapping their pet dog to the luggage rack on the roof of their car while driving on vacation. Mitt cleaned him off with a hose when he soiled himself. Their luggage was inside the car. So it's not like Mitt Romney is some kind of nice guy to dogs or something.

      October 9, 2012 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kevin Sedlak

    Well since they do not show the weather anymore just those brain numbing reality shows with everybody arguing. they need a hook to get people to watch.

    October 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RUPERTSnewCNNforDummies

    "country star kisses wrong woman" AND SO? Without morons there is no country: do you not actually listen to to them?

    October 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crys

      Being that you just left a comment about a country star on an article about naming winter storms, I'm afraid you are not one to call anybody a moron.

      October 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob L.

      Milk and Bread prices will go through the roof !

      October 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob L.

      ~~~~ CRYS ~~~~ LMAO....That was the post of the week right there !

      October 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jellybean

    ummm....generally in the U.S. storms are known by the year and location-city and state so why give it an additional name when it's already known by the location and year it happened?

    October 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Todd

    The storms should start with an H as in Hissein Obama.

    October 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Satros

    Oi. I live up in Wisconsin where winter storms are common. One of the local news channels names the storms, even if they're only supposed to drop two or three inches, and it's hokey, and -stupid-. I don't watch that channel for a myriad of reasons, but the 'cute' way they report the weather as if Wisconsinites really care that much about six inches of snow, is one of the main reasons why I don't watch or trust their weather. I can only hope that the other news channels around here don't pick up the Weather Channel's methods.

    October 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RS6


    October 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Brian

    But golly gee, I wonder what happened to Jimmy Hoffa.

    October 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • djsteviemac

      By golly gee, what the H E L L does Jimmy Hoffa have to do with snow storms?

      October 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. KevoATX

    Unless one of these storms is named Chuck Norris, who cares!

    October 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Yeahona

    Stupid is as stupid does – you can save stupidity.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SmarterThanARepublican

    This article is about Winter Storms... not Obama.


    I'm kind of excited about extratropical storms being named, however the names given to Europeans storms are cooler.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MGB

    Considering the fact that they predict these large storms and they never materialize, I think they will go through a lot of names before they get one that deserves to be named. Or, are they gonna wait until it is already a major storm before they name it? That would kinda defeats the purpose of forewarning as mentioned by Mr. Niziol.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Leslie

    Q – for the subway line? Really? Unless it is flying off the track every few miles this is not a mythical god or other force to be reckoned with. I really think they were referring to Q the character played by John de Lancy from Star Trek – TNG. The character of Q was written as a force and thought to be some sort or god-like being.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. No one

    Well at least they aren't Norse, if Winter Storm Thor ever comes I'm hiding in a bunker.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tim

    The REAL reason The Weather Channel is doing this? Named storms are easier to sensationalize.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • DB

      Not really. We have a lot of winter storms here in Boston, and the local media don't have any trouble "sensationalizing" any of them.

      October 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
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