WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 05, 2012, 06:22 PM

Winter storms could now have names similar to tropical storms

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- When the next blizzard blows into town, it could have a name.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- When the next blizzard blows into town, it could have a name.

The Weather Channel announced a plan to name winter storms much like the National Hurricane Center does for tropical storms. Many people in Fargo remember the blizzards of '96 and '97 and other devastating storms.

But what about Winter Storm Rocky? or Blizzard Triton? The Weather Channel says it will starting naming storms this winter.

Karla Martian/Grand Forks Resident: "It's almost like anything else, you give it a name, it kind of stays in your head."

Brian Powers/Moorhead: "That wouldn't make any difference. A storm is a storm."

We often name devastating storms AFTER they happen.

In fact, the Grand Forks Herald has picked post-storm names for years.

But the Weather Channel wants to give those names ahead of time.

"Enhance the warning of the storm, and also improve their memory of it when it passed, so it would be interesting."

We asked our Facebook followers to weigh in.

Randy Schmidt says there is something to be said about recognizing them, but doesn't want to remember "Ice Storm Nancy" or "the Jim Blizzard."

While Dawn Braseth says it would be fun, most of us have a memory that makes us think of each anyway.

The Weather Channel says naming the storm will raise awareness and help people plan ahead. And they already have a whole list of names picked out from Athena to Zeus.

But WDAY Meteorologist Daryl Ritchison says there doesn't seem to be any solid criteria for determining which storms to name.

Daryl: "I really don't see how a name on a storm system impacts anyone, because there's just that one storm that's out there. So, to give it a name is really just a marketing tool."

Whether we just call it a blizzard, or winter storm Plato. We all know we can look forward to this in the coming months.

The storm names will be determined by timing, temperatures, and other factors.