Vol. II, No. 72
The Weather Channel announced it’s intention recently to begin naming winter storms, following the practice for naming hurricanes that has been in existence for a few hundred years. Yesterday’s storm was due to be dubbed Athena, but fortunately, the National Weather Service rejected the concept. Thank goodness. The networks’ branding of weather systems with fancy slogans, logos, and animation graphics has gotten out of control. It creates additional drama, all with the goal of keeping viewers glued to the network. Give them an opportunity to extend the brand further with names, and it will get even worse.
I don’t think branding and network ratings are what the Caribbean islanders had in mind when they began the practice of naming hurricanes more than three hundred years ago. At that time, the islanders gave it the name of the saint associated with the day the storm hit, on the roman liturgical calendar. It was just a way to reference the storm, as it is now, but without all of the logo and the soundtrack.
For more interesting information on the changing history of naming hurricanes, check out this interesting article on Geology.com. In the meantime, let’s hope we can go six months or so without a named storm.