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West Virginians Split on Idea Of Naming Winter Storms
Written by Pierce Legeion
Last updated on October 04, 2012 @ 7:27PM
Created on October 04, 2012 @ 6:39PM
Many of us are familiar with tropical storms and hurricanes being given names.  Now one group says they'll be naming winter storms starting this year.

This week, the Weather Channel announced that they'll start naming winter storms.  As 5 News found out today, this announcement is creating a lot of buzz.

Names like Athena, Brutus, and even Caesar could be used to name a snowstorm near you this winter.
 
The Weather Channel will become the first national organization to name winter storms, much like the National Hurricane Center names tropical storms and hurricanes.

They decided to go medieval in their choice of names to avoid any confusion with names that are already used for tropical systems.  There will be some other differences in how tropical systems and winter storms are named.  Unlike with tropical storms and hurricanes, the Weather Channel says that the criteria they'll use for naming winter storms will be more flexible.  Naming of storms will happen no more than three days before a storm is expected to have a great impact on a large group of people.

"If the system is gonna be impactful in the sense that it will disrupt travel, disrupt school, cause people to think maybe I should plan my travel differently..." said Bryan Norcross, Director of Weather Content at the Weather Channel in response to how storms will be named.

Meteorologists there plan to consider factors such as snowfall, ice, wind, temperature, and even the time of day and day of the week when deciding to name a storm.
 
"You have to have a significant snow and/or ice component to the storm to qualify for a name" says Bryan Norcross at the Weather Channel.
 
The idea is to make the public more aware of an approaching storm and to encourage people to plan ahead and be better prepared for it.  Folks here in the Mountain State seem to be split on that idea.

"I think naming the winter storms would be a good idea.  It would have been nice to have a heads up and been prepared" said Debby Shillingburg of Jane Lew.

Those who think it's a good idea point to the success of naming tropical systems.

Debby went on to say: "Because with hurricanes people pay more attention if it's a named storm and they can figure out if it's coming their way and you can get prepared."

Others though see things differently.

"I think it's a little silly.  We already get so much hype.  Everybody runs to the grocery store and buys up all the bread and milk because ooo ooo we're gonna get snow"  said Dianne LeMasters of Jacksonburg.

The "Snowmageddon" storm back in 2010 is a good example of how naming a storm can help increase awareness.  it remains to be seen if the same holds true for future storms.
 
In all, the list includes 26 names, one for each letter of the alphabet.

This is very similar to how it is done for tropical systems but most of these names were inspired by Greek and Roman mythology.  Some of the names on this list are pretty interesting and if nothing else will be memorable for the storm that gets them.

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