Blizzard 2012: Does Draco Need A Name?

Winter storm Draco has left 400,000 customers without electricty and dumped over a foot of snow on Des Moines. But should the Weather Channel be giving names to snowstorms, or is this pointless sensationalism?

From blogger Cat White:

"This seems like it belongs in the same category as “Invented Holidays Designed to Sell Stuff” (does anyone even still remember “Sweetest Day?”)."

"I couldn’t find this discussed, but I wonder if their list is copyrighted (unlike the National Hurricane Centerlist)?  Also, does this just apply to national storms?  How big does a storm have to be or how far does it have to travel before it merits a name?  For those of us in the Snow Belt, we can get hit seriously without the rest of the country noticing.  Do we get our own names that are geographically relevant?"

In the Weather Channel's defense, they're trying to put up some consistent and logical reasons why they started naming winter storms:

1. Naming a storm raises awareness.

2. Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.

3. A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.

4. In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.

Well, I never said they were GOOD reasons.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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