“Storm Brianna”? “Blizzard Draco”? Try NEITHER

I’ve lived here in Wisconsin all of my life and you know I haven’t always been THIS attentive to the news so – uhh – did I miss a memo?

I ran into this FOX 11 headline –
Walker declares state of emergency for Winter Storm Brianna

When in the heck did we start naming blizzards?

It turns out that “we” are not naming blizzards. TV stations are trying to and the National Weather Service is not going along with this. (BRAVO)

Digging into the web reveals that FOX 11 of Green Bay has its own list for storms for 2012-13 and shockingly, they claim they’ve been indiscriminately naming storms since the mid-1980s.

Names on the current list are:

I was sincerely confused because somewhere in the middle of my googling I discovered that back in October The Weather Channel announced they’d name winter storms and they released a list of future storm names – which doesn’t include “Brianna”. Honestly, it didn’t occur to me that a Fox Valley affiliate in Wisconsin would try and outdo the Weather Channel.

A person almost wants to cheer little Fox 11 on after reading TWC’s statement that they’re naming winter storms because nobody else is doing it and in fact it’s “an ambitious project”.

Oh fer Chrissake.

The Weather Channel has named Wisconsin’s incoming blizzard “Draco” which in my opinion has sort of a Loch Ness monster meets Pokemon feel to it. I reject the marketing of my state’s weather systems whole-heartedly in general and I reject “Draco” and “Brianna” specifically (no offense to any actual Brianna’s in the world – and are there actual Dracos out there?).

The National Weather Service is also having none of this foolishness. I’m glad. The Weather Channel was purchased in 2008 by NBCUniversal (Comcast/ GE) Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. There could be a few implications if there were a winter storm around about the time of a national election and Bain Capital got to name it, yes?

The first test of NWS’ resolve came in November when the Weather Channel applied the name “Athena” to the first winter storm of the season. The National Weather Service in Bohemia, New York then gave meteorologists this message:

“TWC has named the Nor’easter Athena..The NWS does not use name winter storms in our products. Please refrain from using the term Athena in any of our products.”

“The National Weather Service has no opinion about private weather enterprise products and services.. A winter storm’s impact can vary from one location to another, and storms can weaken and redevelop, making it difficult to define where one ends and another begins.”

That business of differentiating between storms sounds terribly scientific. I like the sound of that the best.

blue cheddar bonuses:
There is a real Brianna Storm who happens to sing very nicely.

This is a map from Green Bay meteorologist Jeff Last to show you the “Probability of 8″ or more of snow – Wed night thru Thursday”:


4 thoughts on ““Storm Brianna”? “Blizzard Draco”? Try NEITHER

  1. Until I saw another article about this subject this morning, I’d been wondering if the naming of winter storms was the work of the National Weather Service of a gimmick that the Weather Channel has come up with. Now I learn that TWC (as well as a Green Bay station) have more drama queens than just Jim Cantore.

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