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TWC going to name winter storms this winter


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#1
phlwx

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http://www.usatoday....hannel/1606531/


12:01AM EST October 2. 2012 - "Brutus bashes Buffalo" -- now there's a headline just waiting to be written.

Several decades after hurricanes first got formal names, some blizzards in the USA this winter will get their own names, too.

The Weather Channel will assign the monikers, "the first time a national organization in North America will proactively name winter storms," the network reports.

Most of the names on the list have a Greek/Roman theme -- the first three are Athena, Brutus and Caesar.

"On a national scale, the most intense winter storms acquire a name through some aspect of pop culture and now social media; for example, Snowmaggeddon and Snotober," says Weather Channel winter weather expert Tom Niziol, referring to big snowstorms that blasted parts of the Eastern USA.

(more available at the link)

#2
The_Global_Warmer

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I love it.

I hope they define clear guidelines.

Maybe they need to reach out to the National Weather Service for a formal agreement so it doesn't look like a cheesy.


It can mostly be done in post analysis or when an active storm reachs certain thresholds of wind, snow depth, snow cover in kilometers, and maybe snow rates and overall pressure.

#3
HurricaneJosh

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Cute.

#4
phlwx

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I hope they define clear guidelines.


If they use some sort of concrete criteria (NESIS or some population/impact based scale of what *could* happen), I think it can work. I know southern snows are higher impact than a 6" event in Buffalo but if naming systems is based on a smell test or subjective, shifting criteria (timing, weekend vs. weekday, etc.) I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing.

#5
Ellinwood

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The only good thing to come out of this:

Joe Bastardi @BigJoeBastardi: TWC should mention history of a. naming or b. classifying scale and who came up with it. Latter was laid out in 1993 Weatherwise art by me

Joe Bastardi @BigJoeBastardi: @mikeseidel Travelers weather did that in the 1970s. I suggested categorizing them in 1993 Weatherwise article. Should mention predate

#6
HurricaneJosh

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Everyone just wants to copy the tropical community. I get it. We're the cool ones. Imitation = flattery.

#7
Bryan Wood

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If Gilbert Gottfried doesn't do the forecasts for Iago, then TWC is dead to me.

#8
phlwx

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can't wait for people to whine about whether a clipper should be named "Khan" because it drops 3" of snow in Richmond.

#9
isohume

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I think I'm more excited about Iceberg Hunters and Reefmakers. Gonna be good seasons coming up! :thumbsup:

Looks like some TWC corporate flunky got bored. What's next, named MCSs and dense fog events? lolz

#10
am19psu

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I wish it was HPC doing it, so that the community as a whole would adopt it, but I think it is a great idea. Hopefully, it catches on. They've been doing it in Europe for years and it makes communication a lot easier.

#11
Bryan Wood

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I don't necessarily have an issue with naming storms, the choice of names is just ridiculous. Q and Khan are known Sci-Fi references, Iago and Nemo are known as Disney characters, Gandolf is a Harry Potter reference. It's like they're going out of their way to TRY to be viral. Even if those names are references to other things, they are in the public conscious as pop culture references and nothing more. Good luck trying to convey the seriousness of a blizzard with those kind of names. Many will be stuck on the name and not the message.

#12
isohume

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I don't necessarily have an issue with naming storms, the choice of names is just ridiculous. Q and Khan are known Sci-Fi references, Iago and Nemo are known as Disney characters, Gandolf is a Harry Potter reference. It's like they're going out of their way to TRY to be viral. Even if those names are references to other things, they are in the public conscious as pop culture references and nothing more. Good luck trying to convey the seriousness of a blizzard with those kind of names. Many will be stuck on the name and not the message.


Hey weather needs drama, you know. Nothing sells better, and TWC probably needs more profits to fund their exciting new reality shows.

#13
Ellinwood

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I wish it was HPC doing it, so that the community as a whole would adopt it, but I think it is a great idea. Hopefully, it catches on. They've been doing it in Europe for years and it makes communication a lot easier.


I've been seeing the "the Europeans do it" and "we do it for Hurricanes" lines getting passed around, but neither are really apples-to-apples comparisons (unless you compare European wind storms to storms near Alaska). There really is no set, uniform-ish criteria from TWC in naming these storms, so unless EVERYONE falls in line, it would be hard for the field as a whole to designate names as different companies may or may not make the subjective decision to name a storm. I do agree that I'd rather see the HPC do it than a single private company for the adoption process (if naming winter storms becomes an inevitability).

#14
am19psu

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it would be hard for the field as a whole to designate names as different companies may or may not make the subjective decision to name a storm. I do agree that I'd rather see the HPC do it than a single private company for the adoption process.

That's kinda my point. Hopefully, it catches on and by winter 2014-15, HPC standardizes the practice.

#15
isohume

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That's kinda my point. Hopefully, it catches on and by winter 2014-15, HPC standardizes the practice.


Why that season specifically? :lol:

#16
am19psu

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Why that season specifically? :lol:

I don't have any expectation of things moving quickly enough to implement it before then? It was just a guess.

#17
isohume

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I don't have any expectation of things moving quickly enough to implement it before then? It was just a guess.


Hey, ya never know! It might catch on like a wildfire. TWC are leaders. I mean heck, look at TORCON.

#18
Ed Lizard

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If today's TWC is doing it, it will be a major fail. Just a prediction. Speaking of "Iceberg Hunters", I could handle non-weather shows when it was volcanoes devastating the Pac Northwest a Mercalli 8 hitting Memphis, or a Cat 4 hitting NYC, tomorrow (I wondered about the NYC tomorrow in Winter but would let it slide), but what air cargo in Canada has to do with weather, other than its cold, I don't know. "Hawai'i Air Rescue"?

TWC isn't the only network, Discovery and the such doing night vision Sasquatch shows and 18 versions of pawn shop shows...

#19
am19psu

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If today's TWC is doing it, it will be a major fail. Just a prediction.peaking of "Iceberg Hunters", I could handle non-weather shows when it was volcanoes devasating the Pac Northwesta mercalli 8 hitting Memphis, or a Cat 4 hitting NYC, tomorrow (I wondered about the NYC tomorrow in Winter but would let it slide), but what air cargo in Canada has to do with weather, other than its cold, I don't know. "Hawai'i Air Rescue"?

TWC isn't the only network, Discovery and the such doing night vision Sasquatch shows and 18 versions of pawn shop shows...

I hate this criticism of TWC. It might have been true in the mid-00s, but it's not now. TWC has been doing top notch work with significant weather events for the last few years (snow, hurricanes, severe wx, etc). When there is nothing going on, they air entertainment programming, because it gets more eyeballs that talking about a bunch of red flag warnings in the Northern Rockies or moderate rain across the Southeast.

#20
Ellinwood

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That's kinda my point. Hopefully, it catches on and by winter 2014-15, HPC standardizes the practice.


Another thing is certainty. We see a hurricane or wind storm coming, we can pretty pretty sure that it will have a significant impact if it makes landfall. Winter storms, especially in the eastern US, can be a lot more fickle in these regards, even within the 3-day window that TWC will be using. I imagine some of these storms will have to be called "Future NAME" since a decent portion of these storms will either barely have formed or have yet to form within that 3-day lead time.

Article from OP:

Population will play a big role, too, he says. A storm that dumps a foot of snow over the Cascades in Washington state might not get a name, while a storm set to hit Atlanta at rush hour with 1-2 inches of snow might.


Weather Channel Article: ( EDIT to add link: http://www.weather.c...storms-20121001 )

Often a weather system that is expected to strike a metropolitan area three days from now has not even completely formed in the atmosphere. Therefore, naming of winter storms will be limited to no more than three days before impact to ensure there is moderate to strong confidence the system will produce significant effects on a populated area. In addition, the impacts from winter systems are not as simple to quantify as tropical systems where a system is named once the winds exceed a certain threshold.

The process for naming a winter storm will reflect a more complete assessment of several variables that combine to produce disruptive impacts including snowfall, ice, wind and temperature. In addition, the time of day (rush hour vs. overnight) and the day of the week (weekday school and work travel vs. weekends) will be taken into consideration in the process the meteorological team will use to name storms.


So many criteria, yet no specifics. How much of the population needs to be affected? What are the snowfall thresholds for different cities (besides the 1-2" in ATL)? What does it take to qualify as a "disruptive impact?"

#21
mapgirl

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I hate this criticism of TWC. It might have been true in the mid-00s, but it's not now. TWC has been doing top notch work with significant weather events for the last few years (snow, hurricanes, severe wx, etc). When there is nothing going on, they air entertainment programming, because it gets more eyeballs that talking about a bunch of red flag warnings in the Northern Rockies or moderate rain across the Southeast.


Look just bc you had a chance to work for TWC doesn't mean you gotta take everything so personally. :P

#22
Ed Lizard

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I hate this criticism of TWC. It might have been true in the mid-00s, but it's not now. TWC has been doing top notch work with significant weather events for the last few years (snow, hurricanes, severe wx, etc). When there is nothing going on, they air entertainment programming, because it gets more eyeballs that talking about a bunch of red flag warnings in the Northern Rockies or moderate rain across the Southeast.


It is all of TV, and as one of the nerdy types who watched TWC back in the 80s and 90s, I want weather. And no Carl Parker type BA degree holders with the 60 hour MSU green screen training. Real degreed mets. Except Crystal Egger. And I want The History Channel to show real history shows. Ditto Discovery.

I do like Dr. Forbes and the radar analysis during tornado outbreaks, and am hoping for a significant Autumn season since the Spring season started with such promise and then failed. TWC wants entertainment, pick up the Reed Timmer armored Chevy Suburban show with all kinds of extra drama besides the storms. With guest appearances by Ginger Zee, assuming her ABC contract doesn't keep her off GE/NBC Universal channels.

#23
Ellinwood

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The meaning behind the names: http://www.weather.c...-names-20121001

Don't tell me Q is named for the subway line... it's got Star Trek written all over it. Rocky, Gandalf, etc... bull. All those are pop culture references and they don't want to get sued for using namesakes.

#24
Ed Lizard

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Would twice a decade 1 inch Houston snow miracles get named?

#25
isohume

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If TWC really wants to help categorize winter storms, they can name them postmortem. Naming a winter storm during it's developing stage implies the storm will become very strong or debilitating. It conveys to the public something like: "Oh watch out folks, WS Dracon is now forming off to the west!". If the storm turns out to be a relative dud, it was just unneeded drama added to catch folks' attention in order to gain money.

#26
Fozz

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I don't like this idea, at all. Besides the cheesiness, the criteria is just too damn subjective.

#27
Ed Lizard

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I don't like this idea, at all. Besides the cheesiness, the criteria is just too damn subjective.


I agree.

#28
Bryan Wood

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It is all of TV, and as one of the nerdy types who watched TWC back in the 80s and 90s, I want weather. And no Carl Parker type BA degree holders with the 60 hour MSU green screen training. Real degreed mets. Except Crystal Egger. And I want The History Channel to show real history shows. Ditto Discovery.

I do like Dr. Forbes and the radar analysis during tornado outbreaks, and am hoping for a significant Autumn season since the Spring season started with such promise and then failed. TWC wants entertainment, pick up the Reed Timmer armored Chevy Suburban show with all kinds of extra drama besides the storms. With guest appearances by Ginger Zee, assuming her ABC contract doesn't keep her off GE/NBC Universal channels.


I used to make these type of arguments. Television stations are businesses first in a brutally Darwinian industry. As viewership preferences change, so will the networks. It sucks, but if they don't, they lose money and will cease to exist or get bought out. Then, the few shows that are still true to their original format will be gone, too. In the end, we just have to accept it.

#29
Wow

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Would twice a decade 1 inch Houston snow miracles get named?


Yogi the snow miracle!

Seriously, this brings up way more questions then answers. Is this even worth it in the first place?

#30
Ed Lizard

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If TWC really wants to help categorize winter storms, they can name them postmortem. Naming a winter storm during it's developing stage implies the storm will become very strong or debilitating. It conveys to the public something like: "Oh watch out folks, WS Dracon is now forming off to the west!". If the storm turns out to be a relative dud, it was just unneeded drama added to catch folks' attention in order to gain money.



WS Dracon will be the cold season equivalent of Don, and cause a million weenie suicides...

#31
Entropy

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I don't necessarily have an issue with naming storms, the choice of names is just ridiculous. Q and Khan are known Sci-Fi references, Iago and Nemo are known as Disney characters, Gandolf is a Harry Potter reference. It's like they're going out of their way to TRY to be viral. Even if those names are references to other things, they are in the public conscious as pop culture references and nothing more. Good luck trying to convey the seriousness of a blizzard with those kind of names. Many will be stuck on the name and not the message.


Actually, Gandalf is from The Lord of the Rings, not Harry Potter. Gandolf is nothing but a TWC misspelling. Somewhere, J.R.R. Tolkien is rolling in his grave.

#32
mapgirl

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Yogi the snow miracle!

Seriously, this brings up way more questions then answers. Is this even worth it in the first place?


it stops people from naming them ridiculous names anyways like "snowmageddon" or "snowpocolypse"

#33
Rainshadow

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I want weather, too. I want to be able to forecast major hurricanes and save my clients money, but guess what, sometimes Mother Nature doesn't have it in the cards. Why hammer a square peg into a round hole when the average American would rather watch It Could Happen Tomorrow than hear a 5-day forecast of typical autumn weather?


The criteria task is daunting as accuracy in forecasts beyond the usual suspects should reduce impacts and missed freezing drizzle on a Monday morning can shut down a metropolitan area.

#34
NittanyWx

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Oh joy, we're naming clippers?

"Winter storm Cinderella and it's band of 4" of snow in the Poconos will only be overshadowed by the forthcoming clipper Winter Storm Hercules and the potential 5" of snow in the upper peaks of the Catskills. We'll have Jim Cantore live from Mamakating, NY to keep you ahead of this developing situation. Remember to follow the weather channel on twitter and use #Hercules to discuss this dangerous system."

#35
JamieOber

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Actually, Gandalf is from The Lord of the Rings, not Harry Potter. Gandolf is nothing but a TWC misspelling. Somewhere, J.R.R. Tolkien is rolling in his grave.

You know...they said on their site that "Gandolf" was from a fantasy novel written in 1896 - anyone know what that might be? I couldn't find it in a Google search.



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