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Vol. 4, No. 12 | December 2012

 

 

 

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Blizzards Will Have Names
The Weather Channel Will Assign Names Like Hurricanes

US MED Gives Back The Weather Channel is taking on a new responsibility: naming winter blizzards.

The new naming system will use Greek and Roman names. The first three are Athena, Brutus and Caesar. The names will always be used in alphabetical order.

Storm naming will occur no more than three days before a winter storm's expected impact. The most important factors will be expected snowfall, ice accumulations and wind speed, say analysts writing in USA Today.

To avoid confusion, none of the winter storm names has been on any list produced by the hurricane center.

Winter storms in the United States have acquired names through pop culture, such as Snomaggedon, and social media, such as Snotober. Snowstorms blowing in from Lake Erie are legendary in Buffalo. Locally, they have been named after snakes (Anaconda, Boa, Copperhead) or insects (Aphid, Bedbug, Caterpillar).

The first formal names for hurricanes were used in the late 1880s by Australian forecaster Clement Wragge. He named some after women and some after politicians he didn't like, according to Bob Sheets, former National Hurricane Center director, in his book Hurricane Watch.

The present hurricane naming system started in the mid-1950s, using women's names. Men's names were added in 1979.

 

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