Or.. A Rose By Any Other Name....
Big weather news, folks! Those wild & woolly renegades at The Weather Channel have decided it's time Winter storms get their due, and beginning with the upcoming 2012-2013 Winter season, significant storms will be named. And these are storm-worthy names, kids. No Felix or Alice or Nicole here (great names, but hardly invoking visions of wild weather and cataclysm); these are names from Shakespeare, Tolkien, Mythology. We're taking Brutus, Gandolph, Zeus! These are names that foretell of Mother Nature's betrayal, rage, right-makes-might, weather that will stab you in the back and defeat evil.
Most of 'em, anyway. There are a couple of issues with some of these names. For example, Yogi. Okay, a Yogi is one who practices yoga. I'm missing where peaceful connectedness to the Universe relates to stormy weather (although I am one of those people who never could embrace the whole shivasana thing; it made me edgy & tense). And when I saw that Yogi was going to be one of the storm names, I immediately wondered: if the storm ends up not producing as much snow as predicted, will it be downgraded to Boo-Boo? What if Yogi is the storm of the century at Yellowstone Park. Will we hear bad puns like "this storm won't be any picnic"? Okay, probably not since TWC is claiming the yoga connection, but it's definitely not a blizzard name to take seriously.
And 'Q', which they're defining as a subway line on Broadway? Maybe that's the Weather Channel party line, but I think not...Star Trek: TNG fans can easily imagine the chaos wrought by a storm named 'Q', but seems like it would make for downright silly reporting. Xerxes? I hope Stephanie & Al on WUWA get pointers on pronounciation before airtime!
I've always loved weather drama, until Tropical Storm Irene. Having visited towns like Prattsville and Schoharie in New York in the aftermath, I don't have the stomach for the terror and destruction storms can cause anymore. We've managed for many decades without needing to name Winter storms and blizzards, but TWC seems to think that in the social media age, we need the ability to follow them on Twitter with a single hash tag; they give their many reasons here. Hey, whatever waxes their skiis, but I think there should have been a tad more thought in choosing the names.
What would you name a Winter storm?