When we got walloped with back-to-back snowstorms a few years back, we adopted comical names like “Snowpocalypse” and “Snowmageddon” to reflect both how serious the storms were and how frantically most residents reacted to them.
But now The Weather Channel says that it will start naming winter storms, much the same way that tropical storms and hurricanes are given monikers:
In addition to providing information about significant winter storms by referring to them by name, the name itself will make communication and information sharing in the constantly expanding world of social media much easier. As an example, hash tagging a storm based on its name will provide a one-stop shop to exchange all of the latest information on the impending high-impact weather system.
Calling the project “ambitious,” The Weather Channel’s Tom Niziol says that winter storms will only be named within three days of impact and only when there is “moderate to strong confidence” that they will affect populated areas. Additionally, he writes, meteorologists will take into consideration other factors, including when the storm is expected to hit. If a storm is strongly predicted to hit a city during rush hour on a weekday, for example, it’s more likely to get a name.
This could make for a more interesting winter locally — we’re expected to get hit with more snow than last year, after all.