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Why Do Snowstorms Have Names Now?

Not all meteorologists accept the name game, or acknowledge this storm.

You've probably heard occasional—but perhaps not frequent—references to this winter storm as "Saturn." 

While it makes for some good jokes about the planet, but rather, a pre-determined name The Weather Channel gave to this latest storm.

If you missed it: The Weather Channel in November announced it would name "noteworthy winter storms" in the 2012-2013 winter season.

Sure, snowstorms have been informally named after the fact (remember Snowtober?) This is the first season, however, that The Weather Channel is naming them as it does hurricanes and tropical storms. The rationale? According to the Weather Channel, names raise awareness, make it easier to follow a weather system's progress, a storm with a name "takes a personality all of its own," and names make it easier to reference in social media.

The Weather Channel's naming decision hasn't been accepted by some of its meteorological counterparts, however. AccuWeather, for one, declared that "in unilaterally deciding to name winter storms, The Weather Channel has confused media spin with science and public safety." 

The National Weather Service also doesn't name winter storms.

What do you think about the name "Saturn" or the previous one, "Nemo?" 

Charles March 07, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Any truth to the assertion I heard from a local landlord that " named" storm damage is denied by homeowner's insurance?

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