Hey Weather Channel: Stop Naming Winter Storms – It’s Stupid
Using the word stupid isn’t always polite and should be reserved for special occasions and The Weather Channel trying to name winter storms is a perfect example of when to use the word stupid.
I understand why they’re doing it – it’s a gimmick to get people to tune in to their cable channel and check out their web products. It’s hard with the internet to get people to sit through the loop of forecasts to get info on what storm is heading our way, so this is a method to replace those lost viewers. Totally get it – and I know they have to do what they can to survive.
However, I have a problem with it beyond the fact that it’s just plain silly; it makes the weather into some trivial circus sideshow. Granted we all make jokes about weather forecasters accuracy, but at the end of the day they are scientists with a very difficult job – predicting nature. You can’t always be 100% accurate with something that no other human is in control of but they try to get as close as they can. Their information is valuable and can save lives. The Weather Channel naming storms is irresponsible. Everyone from the National Weather Service to AccuWeather have chimed in to say that it is a poor choice.
“In unilaterally deciding to name winter storms, The Weather Channel has confused media spin with science and public safety. We have explored this issue for 20 years and have found that this is not good science and will mislead the public. Winter storms are very different from hurricanes. - Dr. Joel N. Myers, AccuWeather
It really is irritating that we have to commercialize everything. People complain about Valentines Day being a Hallmark Holiday and Christmas starting in October, so how is this any different? The National Weather Service also isn’t too thrilled at The Weather Channel’s lame idea:
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. While the National Weather Service does not name winter storms, we do rate major winter storms after the fact.
There’s also a small Facebook page against the idea.
Remember that annoying kid in class who always would try to give himself a cool nickname but it was just lame? Same situation here folks.
Am I just way off and letting something silly irritate me? What do you think?