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. Philip

    Bottom line: Global climate change is all natural. ALL that mankinds greedy and excessive polluting of our atmosphere has done is take a very slow and natural warming of the earth and changed it into one with violent and unusual weather extremes.

    October 2, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TexDoc

    No black or hispanic names?

    October 2, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    For a fact, if all of everyone stopped pumping pollution into the atmosphere, the earth would CONTINUE to warm very slowly, and our weather would begin turning back to traditional. (normal, regular)

    October 2, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      What? It's already warm you fool

      October 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      While I wish everyone would stop polluting the air it's only some pollutants that are the problem.

      October 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. blursd

    Why is it all I could think of while I was reading this article was that classic SNL skit of Chris Farley in a Mexican wrestlers outfit on the Weather Channel, talking smack about the other weather systems and screaming, "I am El Niño ...! And for those of you who no habla español, "El Niño" is Spanish for ... the Niño."

    Something tells me this isn't too far off from what the Weather Channel wants to do ...

    October 2, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    NOTHING can stop this earth from becoming a warm paradise filled with those who love this land, with the wanton and greedy polluters of our earth all having been dealt with harshly.

    October 2, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. rob

    They could just as well give 'em all the same name... "Crap"... as in here comes another crapload of snow...

    October 2, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. @blursd

    Why? That's an easy question. Because you get your info from TV.

    October 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Syd

    I thought Q was for the annoying Star Trek bad guy.

    October 2, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • RIP

      Q? Annoying? He was brilliant!

      October 2, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. nate

    i've been naming winter storms for a long time. names, you wouldn't be able to read on the news, but names none-the-less... (mostly 4-letter)

    October 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sheri

    I don't know about the rest of the country, but in the south we have insurance problems with named storms. We have to pay extra for our insurance to cover our property for damages from a named storm such as a tropical storm or a hurricane. I would check my insurance policy to see if it has any fine print about named storms. This may be a nice little loophole for insurance companies to stick it to the people in other states.

    October 2, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rita

      Enlighten them, Sheri about "named storms"!

      October 2, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dave L.

    Newsflash: Weather channel you are not the National Weather service. Here in New England we name our I think it will be confusing to viewers when you butt in where you have no authority.

    October 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Al Roker

    Nothing to see here folks. Just the Weather Channel preparing for our next ice age.

    October 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ks

    I suppose they are going to be named in the lower 48. We've had already 6 or 7 storms in a row here.
    Some of these start out as typhoons, are they going to carry the name over?

    October 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    I name them the same way!

    October 2, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ug

    Is this really news! just more lib hogwash.

    October 2, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
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