The Blizzard of Khan? Weather Channel Names Winter Storms

By Shani O. Hilton
|  Tuesday, Oct 2, 2012  |  Updated 2:43 PM EDT
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The Blizzard of Khan?

AP

Snowpocalypse? Nah, we'll call you "Iago."

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Snowpocalypse. Snowmageddon. The last few years have seen storms dumping snow up and down the east coast -- but with harsh snowstorms cropping up more often, it seems like "Snowmageddon II" isn't going to cut it.

At least not at the Weather Channel, which announced today it would be naming winter storms using a system similar to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's hurricane naming conventions. Twenty-six names, one for each letter of the alphabet, will be assigned to the winter's harshest storms starting this year.

There are good reasons to name storms, StormTeam4 Meteorologist Tom Kierein said. "For decades we have been naming hurricanes because they are such powerful storms," but winter storms are typically designated after they happen, and are usually named by the time or date. And naming them makes sense, Kierein said, "Because winter storms are becoming a little more frequent -- and their impacts can be as bad or worse than a hurricane."

For its own part, the Weather Channel says that storm naming raises awareness and makes it easier to track and communicate information. The kinds of winter storms the the Weather Channel tracks include blizzards, ice storms, nor'easters and lake effect
snowstorms.

But on to what we really care about: The names.

Athena, Brutus, Caesar, Draco, Euclid, Freyr, Gandolf, Helen, Iago, Jove, Khan, Luna, Magnus, Nemo, Orko, Plato, Q, Plato, Rocky, Saturn, Triton, Ukko, Virgil, Walda, Xerxes, Yogi, and Zeus are the names that will grace any storms we get this year.

We're certainly sensing a theme here, with many of these names associated with power -- though a few raise eyebrows. Why Q? The Weather Channel says it's named after the New York City subway line. We were not aware of particularly snowy conditions beneath the streets of Manhattan, but sure, we'll go with it.

For more on the names, check out the Weather Channel.

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