This is not only an entertaining blog, but it is an educational one.
Don’t say we did not warn you.
Apparently there is a relatively new way to excite weather buffs. The allure of publicity has convinced the crew at the Weather Channel to create a list of names for snow storms. Like other given names for hurricanes, tsunamis and pandemics, there is one for each letter of the alphabet. According to their explanation, there are good reasons for naming Winter storms as seen below:
Naming Winter Storms
Hurricanes and tropical storms have been given names since the 1940s. In the late 1800s, tropical systems near Australia were named as well. Weather systems, including winter storms, have been named in Europe since the 1950s. Important dividends have resulted from attaching names to these storms:
• Naming a storm raises awareness.
• Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.
• A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.
• In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.
• A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future
While this is all well and good to raise awareness, then the given names should have some meaning for listeners and be indicative of the severity and effects of such storms.
Currently, the names are Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. Some of the names may ring a bell. One of the approved names for a winter storm this year is “Vulcan.” The Trekkies have invaded the Weather Channel. Vulcans lack emotion so this should represent an easy going, “no fear” kind of storm. For most people, hearing this name will not raise caution at all. However, using that robot from “Lost in Space” ~~~~ who waves his arms and screams “Danger, Will Robinson. Danger!”~~~~ would cause much more widespread concern.
This week’s massive storm sliding up the North Eastern corridor is named Pax. To some of you, that is one of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s six children; this is known as the People magazine effect. The Greek name “Pax” translates to Peace. If each storm name takes on a personality of its own, then this week’s storm has a serious case of bipolar disorder.
If naming a storm is supposed to inform, warn and caution, then choose names that people will identify with.
For example, here in the Mid-Atlantic, each time a massive storm is rumored to be approaching, you hear the same words over and over again. MILK. BREAD. BOTTLED WATER. TOILET PAPER. Store shelves are emptied. Terror reigns. So wouldn’t that be much more appropriate? Hurricanes have categories, why not snowstorms?
“Oh Jim, this is a major storm forming off the coast of Canada. It will meet in the middle and then head East with a fiercely icy cold jetstream. Folks, we will keep you informed, but this is a 3-PLY storm starting in the Carolinas.”
“Diane, I am standing here on the shores of Lake Michigan. The winds are whipping out of control and frothy waves are churning on the Lake. All this air movement and cold air is creating a ½ LITER expected to bring snow across the Plains and the Midwest.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time to get out those shovels again. We are watching a system forming off the Atlantic Ocean that looks to be a POLAND SPRING. Please get all necessary supplies ready.”
I almost forgot about the BREAD warnings!! Obviously, they should be on a scale so that they RISE depending on its worsening. Then, forecasters could discuss how much DOUGH it will cost the Department of Transportation to bring in trucks from other states to help stranded motorists.
“If you can stay home today, please do stay off the roads. With the combination of ice, sleet, freezing rain and up to 5 inches of snow, this is a MULTIGRAIN emergency! Be sure you have batteries, an emergency radio and a working toaster.”
“Please remember your animals’ safety in these terrible wintry conditions. Kansas and Oklahoma have issued a PEPPERIDGE FARM Alert for all of the entire listening area!”
See, wouldn’t that make things simpler?
Thanks for stopping by and bringing your sense of humor and silliness! I promise, I won’t do this again.