Stop Calling Winter Storms Names!

It’s Saturday morning and, if you have traditional weekends, that means you’re off work today and I hope you have something fun planned.  You’d better get out and enjoy your day today in the Quad Cities with the cloudy, rain-free skies, and mild temperatures because it’s turns rainy and, possibly, stormy late tonight and Sunday.

CT Snow

We have it much better than New England where more than two to three feet of snow has fallen with a winter storm battering the northeast.  The storm has cancelled thousands of flights and has closed down Boston’s Logan Airport and New York City’s three major airports.

While this is a huge, even historic, winter storm, there is another blizzard forecast to get going tonight through early Monday across the Dakotas into Nebraska and Colorado.

This storm will bring snow from the Great Lakes to the Southwest and it will bring the rain and thunderstorms to the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys tonight and Sunday.  However, it doesn’t affect the metropolitan Northeast.  That means you might not have heard about it.

But, I want to talk about that northeastern storm again.  As a meteorologist, I really hate the idea of naming winter storms.  I think that should be relegated to tropical storms and hurricanes just as we’ve done since the 1950.

If I mention the Quad Cities blizzard of 2011, I know you instantly think back to that three-day winter storm that dropped a historic 18.4″ of snow on the metro area January 30-February 2, 2011.  Right?

February 2 2011 Blizzard 2-2-2011

And, while I’ve already expressed that I don’t agree with naming winter storms, who was the bird brain (sorry, birds) who came up with the name “Nemo”?

This is a winter storm that has already crippled the northeastern United States and will continue to cause problems for days to come.  While most people are taking the warnings seriously, it’s also become the center of jokes.

Winter Storm Nemo

Seriously!  How are people going to see these winter storms as life threatening with cartoons like this popping up on the internet and snow preparation videos about the end of the world on YouTube with Nemo coming???

People don’t do the same thing when you say a hurricane very similar to Katrina is going to make landfall.  The meteorologists that came up with this horrible idea need to reconsider this and retire the “name calling” before the winter of 2013-2014.

What’s next, “Winter Storm Gaga”?  That would be a “mother monster” of a winter storm!  Instead of put your shovels up, “put your paws up”!

Do you want your winter storms named???





7 responses to this post.

  1. I don’t know, I’m sort of amused by the names, mainly because they are pulled from sci-fi/fantasy type places and that pleases my geeky little heart. The next one will be named “Orko” after the lil dude from the He-man cartoon from my childhood). But I am concerned that by naming all the storms, the seriousness will be taken away. All our lives, named storms = serious business, so I’m concerned that with all storms like this being named, people will stop paying attention!


    • Jenna,

      I think we should use some of the sci-fi/fantasy names from your “geeky little heart” for upcoming hurricanes. I want to make you happy. 🙂 But, as we both said, big storms should be taken seriously.

      On the other hand, I guess if New England got “Nemo” with the heavy snow, we’re getting “Dory” tonight and tomorrow with the heavy rain? 🙂



  2. Posted by Cinchy on February 9, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Nemo is a dumb name for a storm !


  3. Got Coffee??? Stay warm……. Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T


  4. Posted by Renee on February 9, 2013 at 11:42 am

    A storm name is just media hoopla, fortunately I have the common sense to look past the drama of the name of any storm and take in consideration the reality of the weather challenges.
    I have family in Boston and they have ridden the storm out every year. A name is nothing to them. They just kick in the generator and go with the flow. It’s called survival and that how they roll with every nor’easter or hurricane that comes their way. They rock it every year 


  5. It’s how the Weather Channel gets to feel important…they name the winter storms. So, if they ever decide on a Winter Storm Cantore, it will have A LOT of wind, not much substance, a lot of noise and not nice to look at.


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