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. DB

    I'm hoping that this DOESN'T catch on. Believe it or not, I actually prefer the way we do it now, referring to winter storms as "the blizzard of [year]" or "the nor'easter of [year]".

    October 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. And-Red

    This is a great idea in the east coast we name our tropical storms-Hurricanes and it those help it keeps us up to date and aware and it helps us track the storms without any confusion. The names of the storms in europe are great but I love the greek names

    October 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. And-Red

    Also on a other note calling a storm by year is ridiculous there are places were they have multiple storms per year where i live we have atleast 8 per year that semi form.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      Ralph, my parents grew up in North Adams. Get down on your knees and thank God that you didn't grow up in the 30s and 40s when there were no school buses and you had to walk to school, walk home for lunch (no cafeterias or school lunches in those days), and back to school. And for those of you who are not familiar the hills are very steep.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Darcy

    “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,”

    That's ridiculous. Where I live people already empty the store shelves of bread, milk and shovels if even an inch or two is predicted. The people who don't plan won't suddenly start because Blizzard Barney is on the way.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralph M

      I grew up in the Mohawk Valley, where it is a light year if we didn't get at least 70 inches of snow. But you do have to admit that there are those that need any form of prodding to be pro active and not expect the government to help them along. Those are also the ones who need that tag on the iron that says "do not iron clothes while wearing". It is light hearted and may liven things up a bit,...dont be such a nay sayer.

      October 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      Help me out. WHY do people get shovels for storms at the last minute and WHAT happened to the shovel they got (at the last minute) for the LAST storm? That goes for batteries too.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barb

      LOL, that happens here also. I might go in just to buy an extra bag of rock salt or something, and see people with carts full of stuff. It's always extremely crowded here before a storm. As for Iroy, I too would like to know what has happened to their last years last minute shovels, but it happens.

      October 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Benzoate Ostylezene Bicarbonate

    i like Bob

    October 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dubrats

    so did this take an act of congress?.....ha.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Bones

      The Weather Channel is owned by NBC, Blackstone and Bain Capital, not the U.S. government, so: NO.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Walker

    I wonder if they'll ever get around to naming one "Bubba."

    October 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • SouthernCelt

      Only if it hits Mississippi "-).

      October 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dave

    Just please don't use any names that sound muslim. We don't need any riots around the world.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      You mean like Barak or Hussien or Obama? Them sound like foreign names to me.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralph M

      Come on Todd.....butt sniffing republican silliness is another web site Did Faux News send you away? har, har, har.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John Lewis

    If they start naming winter storms the home owners insurance deductibles will go up! My deductible is $500 most of the time. If it is a named storm it goes up to $1000 or 2% of damage, which ever is greater.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobR

      You are so right about that. A lot of policies state a "Named" storm has different coverage's.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SouthernCelt

    Who is going to define a storm as major? What criteria would they use? A typical storm in the Northwest/Northeast could cripple The South that is unprepared for it.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      I have thought for many years Southerners should come up here for winter driving lessons.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mr. Bones

    I've been naming winter storms for years.

    Mostly names I can't repeat here because of the profanity filters.

    They generally sound like something Jim Lahey from "Trailer Park Boys" would come up with. You can probably approximate 'em from there.

    October 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gee Gog

    What the hell for?

    October 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. I'm not your buddy, guy!

    Honestly? We're spending time on this? How about: Hey, You live in Minneapolis. It's going to be cold from Oct through April. It will probably snow a bunch in there too. Be ready. End of winter weather report.

    October 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      I like that!! How about "You live in New England? Don't like the weather? Just wait one dam minute while it changes. I hate procrastinating so yes, be ready because sooner or later it will snow on your head. That's it.

      October 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Serg

    That will be ok till the blacks, Asian, hispanics and muslims feel they aren't represented.

    October 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Foreverwar

    If there is a skinny really fridged one they should name it Ann Coulter.

    October 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
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