With a lot of self-justifying, back-patting hoopla today, The Weather Channel announced it’s decided unilaterally to assign names to winter storms.
During the upcoming 2012-13 winter season The Weather Channel will name noteworthy winter storms. Our goal is to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation.
Yes, fewer surprises. Just the one about winter’s natural disasters being branded by The Weather Channel.
There’s no indication that any federal government entity, including NOAA, has sanctioned this scheme let alone the names.
…until now, there has been no organized naming system for these storms before they impact population centers.
One of the reasons this may be true is that there is no national center, such as the National Hurricane Center, to coordinate and communicate information on a multi-state scale to cover such big events. The National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s Hydrologic Prediction Center (HPC) does issue discussions and snowfall forecasts on a national scale but it does not fill the same role as the NHC in naming storms. …
At this point The Weather Channel’s management breaks their arms with back-patting, lauding their efforts while calling it a bunch of euphemisms for team-playing:
…it would be a great benefit for a partner in the weather industry to take on the responsibility of developing a new concept.
This is where a world-class organization such as The Weather Channel will play a significant role. We have the meteorological ability, support and technology to provide the same level of reporting for winter storms that we have done for years with tropical weather systems. …
In the absence of any government inputs, the selected storm names for this season appear to be intellectual property of The Weather Channel.
Bet you didn’t think that natural disasters could be co-opted, branded, and marketed! Read more