Snowmageddon. Snowzilla. Snowpocalypse. All names that we can retire now that the Weather Channel has decided to plow into the winter-storm-moniker business.
The cable network announced last week that it will begin naming noteworthy winter storm systems this year in a bid to boost ratings and public awareness and coordinate response efforts.
The National Hurricane Center has been naming tropical storms since the 1950s, but it doesn’t track blizzards in the same way. The Weather Channel says that’s a void worth filling: While summer squalls and tornadoes are too localized and short-lived to merit official names, winter storms are more comparable to tropical systems in their size and speed.
From the channel’s news story on its own announcement:
In addition to providing information about significant winter storms by referring to them by name, the name itself will make communication and information sharing in the constantly expanding world of social media much easier. As an example, hash tagging a storm based on its name will provide a one-stop shop to exchange all of the latest information on the impending high-impact weather system.
Don’t expect to get walloped this winter by an Agnes or a Charlie, though. Instead, the Weather Channel has brewed up a list of names borrowed from mythology, ancient history and, um, yoga.
Here’s its roster for the 2012-13 season:
Athena, Brutus, Caesar, Draco, Euclid, Freyr, Gandolf, Helen, Iago, Jove, Khan, Luna, Magnus, Nemo, Orko, Plato, Q, Rocky, Saturn, Triton, Ukko, Virgil, Walda, Xerxes, Yogi, Zeus.