Major U.S. Winter Storms to get names

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:50 PM GMT on October 02, 2012

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October is here, and its time to start thinking about how the coming winter's storm might compare to mighty blizzards of years past. Do you remember the North American blizzard of February 4, 2010? No? Well, do you remember Snowmageddon, the massive February 2010 Nor'easter that dumped up to 38" of snow in the mid-Atlantic, and killed 41 people? The two storms are the same, but having a simple name for the snowstorm like "Snowmageddon" helps us identify and remember the impacts of the storm. Naming a major winter storm makes even more sense if it is done before the storm hits, to aid in raising awareness of the storm, and to reduce the risks the public faces. That's exactly what The Weather Channel is going to do for the U.S. this winter, they announced in a press release today. A group of senior meteorologists at The Weather Channel chose 26 names for the upcoming winter of 2012 - 2013. The only criteria was to select names that are not and have never been on any of the hurricane lists produced by the National Hurricane Center or National Weather Service. Naming of a winter storm will occur no earlier than three days prior to it hitting, to ensure there is strong confidence that the system could have significant impact on large populations. There is no national center for monitoring winter storms like we have for hurricanes with the National Hurricane Center, so I think it makes sense for The Weather Channel to take this step.


Figure 1. Snowmageddon in Maryland: February 4, 2010. Image credit: wunderphotographer chills.

U.S. winter storm names for winter of 2012 - 2013
Athena -- The Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspirations, justice, mathematics and all things wonderful

Brutus -- Roman Senator and best known assassin of Julius
Caesar -- Title used by Roman and Byzantine Emperors 

Draco -- The first legislator of Athens in Ancient
Euclid -- A mathematician in Ancient Greece, the Father of Geometry
Freyr -- A Norse god associated with fair weather, among other things

Gandolf -- A character in a 1896 fantasy novel in a pseudo-medieval countryside

Helen – In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy was the daughter of Zeus

Iago -- Enemy of Othello in Shakespeare’s play, Othello

Jove -- The English name for Jupiter, the Roman god of light and sky.

Kahn -- Mongolian conqueror and emperor of the Mongol Empire

Luna -- The divine embodiment of the moon in Roman mythology

Magnus -- The Father of Europe, Charlemagne the Great, in Latin: Carolus Magnus 

Nemo -- A Greek boy’s name meaning “from the valley”, means “nobody” in Latin 

Orko -- The thunder god in Basque mythology

Plato -- Greek philosopher and mathematician, who was named by his wrestling coach

Q -- The Broadway Express subway line in New York City

Rocky -- A single mountain in the Rockies

Saturn -- Roman god of time, among other things who had a planet named after him

Triton -- In Greek mythology, the messenger of the deep sea, son of Poseidon

Ukko -- In Finnish mythology, the god of the sky and weather

Virgil -- One of ancient Rome’s greatest poets

Walda -- Name from Old German meaning “ruler”

Xerxes -- The fourth king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Xerxes the Great

Yogi -- People who do yoga

Zeus -- In Greek mythology, the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus and the gods who lived there

I expect that this year The Weather Channel will be pretty conservative about assigning names, and only the very strongest winter storms will get named. For the eastern 2/3 of the country, storms that receive a ranking of "notable" or higher on NOAA's Regional Snowfall Index (RSI) or Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS) are the only ones fairly certain to get named this winter. We only had one such storm during the winter of 2011 - 2012 (Snowtober, on October 29 - 31, 2011.) Thus, if we have another wimpy winter like last winter, we probably won't get to see the Wrath of Khan.

Naming of Winter Storms in Europe
Various organizations in Europe have been naming their winter storms since 1954, and the public has reacted positively to this practice. The names given by the Free University of Berlin are the most widely used, and have been in existence since 1954. Their meteorologists traditionally name all lows and highs that influence the Central European weather. In November 2002, the Free University began an Adopt-a-Vortex scheme, which allows anyone to buy a storm name. The money raised is used by the meteorology department to maintain weather observations at the university. Over 1,800 participants from 15 European countries plus Brazil, Japan and the United States have participated. So far in 2012, 90 European low pressure systems have been given names.


Figure 2. A huge wave from Winter Storm Klaus rolls into Santander, Spain, in this wunderphoto taken by wunderphotographer lunada on January 24, 2009. Klaus had a central pressure of 967 mb at its peak on the morning of January 24, and brought sustained winds of 59 mph, gusting to 81 mph, to Santander. Wind gusts as high as 124 mph (199 km/hr) occurred along the northern coast of Spain, and the storm killed at least 26 people in Spain, France, and Italy.

Naming of Lake Effect Winter Storms by NWS Buffalo
Tom Niziol, The Weather Channel's winter storm expert, was meteorologist-in-charge of the Buffalo, New York NWS office until January 2012. He tells me that for over ten years, the Buffalo NWS has been naming lake-effect storms. This was done only after the event occurred, to avoid any confusion, but was very popular with users. The names were chosen on a yearly basis by having the office staff vote for one of several themes--such as insects, heavenly bodies, famous scientists, minerals, Native American tribes, etc. Last winter, eight storms were named after breeds of cows (?!), as seen at the NWS Buffalo Lake Effect web page. I was not asked to contribute to this year's list of U.S. winter storms, but will lobby for next year's list of names to be taken from famous monsters--Rodan, Ghidorah, Nessie, Kong, Bunnicula, etc.


Figure 3. The most significant lake-effect snow storm of the winter of 2011 - 2012 was named Lake Effect Storm Evolene by the NWS office in Buffalo, New York. Image credit: NWS Buffalo Lake Effect web page.

Nadine
The Methuselah of Atlantic tropical storms, Tropical Storm Nadine, is slowly weakening over cool 22 - 24°C waters. Nadine will have accumulated 20 days as a tropical cyclone later today, but the end is in sight. Wind shear will rise to 30 knots and ocean temperatures will drop to 20°C by Thursday, which should cause Nadine to transition to an extratropical storm as it passes by the northern Azores Islands on Thursday and Friday.

96L off the coast of Africa no threat to land
A tropical wave that emerged off the coast of Africa over the weekend (Invest 96L) has a moderate amount of spin and a large area of heavy thunderstorms that is growing more organized. The storm is located about 925 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, and is headed northwest at 10 - 15 mph. Wind shear is a moderate 10 knots, and is predicted to remain light to moderate, 5 - 15 knots, through Friday. The atmosphere surrounding 96L is fairly moist, and the disturbance does have a good degree of model support for becoming a tropical depression by late in the week. In their 8 am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 96L a 70% chance of becoming a tropical depression by Thursday morning. 96L is likely to get pulled northwards by a large trough of low pressure over the Central Atlantic late this week, and should not be a threat to the Lesser Antilles Islands.

Jeff Masters

Hubby Tries to Clear the Snow. (Proserpina)
Hubby tried to use the snow-blower to clear the snow, unfortunately for him the snow is too deep for the snow-blower. The shovel and his arms will have to do the job.
Hubby Tries to Clear the Snow.
Blizzard 2010 (TonyInDC)
Blizzard  2010

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Another blog.
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Quoting beell:
Can anyone recommend an advertiser's blog where I can post weather and climate related comments?
LOL. Dang it.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 159 Comments: 19385
549. j2008
So for this winter strom season I will use any storm names TWC uses and imput my own for storms I see fitting my criteria of Winter Storm. Only problem is I need my own list of names that I can use so please feel free to pop on over to my blog and leave some names I can use/ send me WU mail with a name you would like to see used. I will unveil my list when completed. Thanks in advance.
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548. beell
Can anyone recommend an advertiser's blog where I can post weather and climate related comments?
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Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Now lets say that an unusual cold air mass was in place all the way down to the Florida peninsula in January and this were to coincide with an area of low pressure that were to produce some snow in that state (even if only a coating to a few inches)similar to the freak snow event January 1977 in Miami. Do you think this would get named? I really think events like this in atypical places should get a winter storm name designated to them.
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545. auburn (Mod)
Quoting Grothar:


We all get "poofed". I never take it personally.


No me either..
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544. beell
But I have learned my lesson. Do not post advertising commercials on a weather blog...
(oh the ironing!)
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Quoting auburn:
My post get "Poofed "from time to time also..of course no one ever misses them..hahahaha


We all get "poofed". I never take it personally.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting Grothar:



wihch one?


The incomprehensible one.
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541. auburn (Mod)
Quoting beell:


Thanks, wab, and Aub, too.

Bloggers come and go, then they come back, then they go, then they come back, etc, etc, etc.

And I'm certain the sun will come up tomorrow!


Yea this dark thing is never in the Forecast..it just seems to happen..things that make ya go hummm...
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I think the O storm may be the last name storm of the season
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539. auburn (Mod)
My post get "Poofed "from time to time also..of course no one ever misses them..hahahaha
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I don't know if anyone remembers the great Halloween snowstorm of 1991 in Minnesota or the unusual Appalachian Mountain Spring heavy snow of May 1992. Would these also meet criteria for naming?
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537. beell
Quoting whitewabit:


Hope this doesn't mean your leaving !! I enjoy many of your comments !!


Thanks, wab, and Aub, too.
(and Gro 'n bf)

Bloggers come and go, then they come back, then they go, then they come back, etc, etc, etc.

And I'm certain the sun will come up tomorrow!
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Quoting auburn:


Two sided coin..I now enjoy posting here from time to time because all the spam and nonsense seems to go Poof rather fast..when I want to post or read that type stuff I go to my blog or another blog besides the Dr's. IMO this blog is better than it has ever been unless you enjoy the chaos it once was.

Back a few years ago, this blog was outstanding, now it's just average. The information sharing was what kept me here, now if I don't come here for a few days it doesn't worry me, I know I'm not really missing very much. Maybe I have been here to long???
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Quoting Slamguitar:


Discriminatory?


Sorry, that was a tpyo.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting auburn:


Two sided coin..I now enjoy posting here from time to time because all the spam and nonsense seems to go Poof rather fast..when I want to post or read that type stuff I go to my blog or another blog besides the Drs.IMO this blog is better than it has ever been unless you enjoy the chaos it once was.
Aubie, removing nonsense is one thing. Removing legitimate, intelligent comments is another.
:)
...

Goodnight, wu.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 159 Comments: 19385
Should name the storms after infamous politicians. They will have plenty of names for decades.
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532. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #30
SEVERE TROPICAL STORM MALIKSI (T1219)
12:00 PM JST October 3 2012
==================================

SUBJECT: Category Two Typhoon Near Iwo Jima

At 3:00 AM UTC, Severe Tropical Storm Maliksi (985 hPa) located at 25.4N 141.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 50 knots with gusts of 70 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving north at 18 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T3.0

Gale Force Winds
=================
375 NM from the center in eastern quadrant
150 NM from the center in western quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
======================

24 HRS: 35.9N 144.2E - 55 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm) Sea East Of Japan
45 HRS: 44.2N 154.6E - Extratropical Cyclone In Kuril Waters
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47018
Quoting beell:


Thanks, Skye.
For true, lol.

The use of "weather" to drive advertising and generate revenue is nothing new. Gotta give TWC credit for their creativity. IMO, of course.

anti-spam indeed!

: - )


Hey, beel. Don't leave. I've been banned twice (One just two weeks ago) and I have had a number of my comments removed. When my family found out about the last ban and they made me a dunce cap and made me wear it during dinner. The wrote on it "Danger, going thru weather withdrawals."
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210

Quoting Barefootontherocks:
This place has changed. Everything changes. Except Love.

Except me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:



wihch one?


Discriminatory?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

Quoting you to keep it on the blog and quoting you to agree with you, this blog has become to political and not stayed weather related.
Thanks. I guess the weather doesn't matter any more. Nor does teaching others what we know about it - much of which we learned here. Me anyway. I learned much here. Or caring about those who are going through it. Now I see a bunch of oneupmanship and lack of appreciation for the amount of energy some have expended here posting blogs that actually had something to do with the weather. Me, beell, Kori, all of us. This place has changed. Everything changes. Except Love.

That's all I have to say.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 159 Comments: 19385
527. auburn (Mod)
Quoting whitewabit:


Hope this doesn't mean your leaving !! I enjoy many of your comments !!


As do I..!!!
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Quoting Barefootontherocks:
One of your big words is misspelled.



wihch one?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting auburn:


IMO this blog is better than it has ever been unless you enjoy the chaos it once was.


I do miss Stormtop. He seemed to have an erotic fetish for seeing a hurricane hit New Orleans.
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524. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting beell:


Yeah, I fixed it Skye. I suppose it was a little to much of an obscure reference to the possibility that the right to name a storm might be for sale to the highest bidder.

Anyway, the post was removed by admin. Along with a few the other day. I suppose I have overstayed my welcome!


Hope this doesn't mean your leaving !! I enjoy many of your comments !!
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523. auburn (Mod)
Quoting Barefootontherocks:
Skye the truth is admin has no sense of the history of this place. I doubt every comment beell had removed had a link that could be interpreted as spam. Gets tiresome. I laid off for several weeks after getting comments removed for no apparent reason other than they did not agree with the opinion du jour held by many of the bloggers here. Been accused of being mean-spirited (add: and malicious) in trying to point out permafrost location. lol. A lot of the well-informed, longtime bloggers you and I know well rarely, if ever, post any more. Admin has a heavy-handed, non-uniform approach. If this comment, or any other fairly spoken words of mine disappear from this forum again, I'm gone. For good.


Two sided coin..I now enjoy posting here from time to time because all the spam and nonsense seems to go Poof rather fast..when I want to post or read that type stuff I go to my blog or another blog besides the Drs.IMO this blog is better than it has ever been unless you enjoy the chaos it once was.
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Quoting Slamguitar:
Floater soon anyone?? The resolution is picking up in the east Atlantic from GOES-14. Feels good.


Feels good man.
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Floater soon anyone?? The resolution is picking up in the east Atlantic from GOES-14. Feels good.
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Quoting lobdelse81:

I know what you mean Kori. This is the only list in the six year naming cycle that has failed to make it to the O storm and the only one that has failed to have a major hurricane strike the US or have a name retired as a result of a tropical cyclone causing a significant impact on US soil. Also, it has been a long time (Since Hurricane Joan in 1988) that this list of names has had a name retired.


I'm hoping Isaac gets retired, as it is (as of now) the only original 'I' storm that remains on any of the lists.
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Quoting Grothar:


I avoid 6 syllable words unless I want to convey a degree of verisimilitude. It can become an indefatigable chore. One must be descriminatory in their use to avoid the meaning of the sentence becoming incomprehensible.
One of your big words is misspelled.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 159 Comments: 19385
Quoting KoritheMan:


I don't care if it only gets to 35 kt. I just want to break this ridiculous naming curse. Enough is enough.

I know what you mean Kori. This is the only list in the six year naming cycle that has failed to make it to the O storm and the only one that has failed to have a major hurricane strike the US or have a name retired as a result of a tropical cyclone causing a significant impact on US soil. Also, it has been a long time (Since Hurricane Joan in 1988) that this list of names has had a name retired.
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Quoting Grothar:


I avoid 6 syllable words unless I want to convey a degree of verisimilitude. It can become an indefatigable chore. One must be descriminatory in their use to avoid the meaning of the sentence becoming incomprehensible.
Disindubitably!
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516. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippines Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #2
TROPICAL STORM MARCE (GAEMI)
11:00 AM PhST October 3 2012
===============================

Tropical Storm "MARCE" has slightly intensified as it continues to move southeastward slowly

At 10:00 AM PhST, Tropical Storm Marce (Gaemi) [991 hPa] located at 15.2°N 117.2°E or 270 km west of Iba, Zambales has 10 minute sustained winds of 45 knots with gusts of 55 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving southeast at 4 knots.

Additional Information
=====================

Estimated rainfall amount is from 10-25 mm per hour (moderate to intense) within the 400 km diameter of the tropical storm.

Enhanced Southwest Monsoon will continue to bring occasional moderate to heavy rains over Metro Manila, central Luzon, MIMAROPA, CALABARZON and Bicol Region.

Fishing boats and other small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the western seaboard of Luzon due to big waves generated by Tropical Storm "Marce".

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 11 pm today.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47018
Quoting Chicklit:
I think it's hokey that TWC is going to name winter storms.
Besides calling themselves 'the weather authority, who do they think they are?
Certainly not the NWS.
bah humbug.
And Jeff has to report that nonsense.
sheesh.



Weather authority? Pshhhhh Joe B. has something to say about that... LOL

Heck, he'll put you in an eternal headlock if you disagree anyway ;)
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8028
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Imo, 15L sometime tomorrow morning. Looking good per this shot. Probably peak as a 50-60mph storm before weakening


I don't care if it only gets to 35 kt. I just want to break this ridiculous naming curse. Enough is enough.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


"Hurricane Grothar" does sound like a large and powerful hurricane.


"...GROTHAR APPROACHING THE NEW ENGLAND COAST... MASSIVE EVACUATIONS ORDERED FOR NEW YORK CITY..."
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Quoting Barefootontherocks:
Skye the truth is admin has no sense of the history of this place. I doubt every comment beell had removed had a link that could be interpreted as spam. Gets tiresome. I laid off for several weeks after getting comments removed for no apparent reason other than they did not agree with the opinion du jour held by many of the bloggers here. Been accused of being mean-spirited in trying to point out permafrost location. lol. A lot of the well-informed longtime bloggers you and I know well rarely, if ever, post any more. Admin has a heavy-handed, non-uniform approach. If this comment, or any other fairly spoken words of mine disappear from this forum again, I'm gone. For good.

Quoting you to keep it on the blog and quoting you to agree with you, this blog has become to political and not stayed weather related.
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Imo, 15L sometime tomorrow morning. Looking good per this shot. Probably peak as a 50-60mph storm before weakening
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Quoting Grothar:


I think my name would fit nicely there on that list. In years to come, when I'm no longer around you could all write "Remember Grothar?" What a disaster that was.


"Hurricane Grothar" does sound like a large and powerful hurricane.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8028
Quoting Barefootontherocks:
Skye the truth is admin has no sense of the history of this place. I doubt every comment beell had removed had a link that could be interpreted as spam. Gets tiresome. I laid off for several weeks after getting comments removed for no apparent reason other than they did not agree with the opinion du jour held by many of the bloggers here. Been accused of being mean-spirited in trying to point out permafrost location. lol. A lot of the well-informed longtime bloggers you and I know well rarely, if ever, post any more. Admin has a heavy-handed, non-uniform approach. If this comment, or any other fairly spoken words of mine disappear from this forum again, I'm gone. For good.


*whistle*
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
I've never even seen the word disambiguation used. Congrats, I guess, but I think the NWS does a fine job already and the media communicates it just fine on winter weather probabilities. I can only see some addition like this as adding to any disambiguation:>)


I avoid 6 syllable words unless I want to convey a degree of verisimilitude. It can become an indefatigable chore. One must be discriminatory in their use to avoid the meaning of the sentence becoming incomprehensible.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting auburn:
I just hope we have a Winter in Alabama this year..been a few since it got cold ,and the bugs and weeds and snakes are taking over..

I'm pretty sure you'll get one, we down here haven't had a summer in 2 years and this one is being predicted to be a very long hot one.
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Quoting Skyepony:


Your always welcome beell..

Seems like a pretty anti-spam rule in play though. I didn't get it with the first link broke. The efficient heat pump, made me think of the efficient water pumps from earlier & threw me. Obscure reference sounds about right.

Partial 96L TRMM
Skye the truth is admin has no sense of the history of this place. I doubt every comment beell had removed had a link that could be interpreted as spam. Gets tiresome. I laid off for several weeks after getting comments removed for no apparent reason other than they did not agree with the opinion du jour held by many of the bloggers here. Been accused of being mean-spirited (add: and malicious) in trying to point out permafrost location. lol. A lot of the well-informed, longtime bloggers you and I know well rarely, if ever, post any more. Admin has a heavy-handed, non-uniform approach. If this comment, or any other fairly spoken words of mine disappear from this forum again, I'm gone. For good.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 159 Comments: 19385
505. j2008
Quoting lobdelse81:

Other notable recent snow events
Minneapolis Metrodome collapse snowstorm-Dec 17, 2010
Snowcopalypse- Dec 21, 2009
Snowpril- April 24, 2012
Atlanta Snowstorm- Jan, 10, 2011
Dallas Snowstorm- Feb 11, 2010
South Texas White Christmas Storm- Dec 24, 2004
Southwest Ohio Heavy Snow Dec 24, 2004
Does anyone think these events would have met criteria to be named?
Yes technically most if not all would be named since they were major winter storms impacting a major population area.
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504. beell
Quoting Skyepony:


Your always welcome beell..

Seems like a pretty anti-spam rule in play though. I didn't get it with the first link broke. The efficient heat pump, made me think of the efficient water pumps from earlier & threw me. Obscure reference sounds about right.



Thanks, Skye.
For true, lol.

The use of "weather" to drive advertising and generate revenue is nothing new. Gotta give TWC credit for their creativity. IMO, of course.

anti-spam indeed!

: - )
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503. auburn (Mod)
I just hope we have a Winter in Alabama this year..been a few since it got cold ,and the bugs and weeds and snakes are taking over..
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502. j2008
Quoting wxchaser97:

I would also like to see a graphic for the criteria of naming winter storms. I will be making my own over the next few days but this is their thing. 2012-2013 winter shall be an interesting one.
Yea definatly, I'm thinking any low pressure area that creates winter weather (for different regions winter weather is different)with a category system for people so they know how best to prepare and what to expect.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Snowmeggadon was to hard for me to remember all though I do remember it snowing for at least 24+ hours and about 30" of snow in my yard...Then about 4 days after another storm came and dumped another 13"+ in my yard leaving us with 4- 5 feet of snow with 7-8 foot drifts and lots and lots of advil and heating/cooling pads...

Other notable recent snow events
Minneapolis Metrodome collapse snowstorm-Dec 17, 2010
Snowcopalypse- Dec 21, 2009
Snowpril- April 24, 2012
Atlanta Snowstorm- Jan, 10, 2011
Dallas Snowstorm- Feb 11, 2010
South Texas White Christmas Storm- Dec 24, 2004
Southwest Ohio Heavy Snow Dec 24, 2004
Does anyone think these events would have met criteria to be named?
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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