Weather updates for Fairfield County Connecticut

What’s in a name?


If only the National Weather Service could sell naming rights to storms and donate the proceeds to charity.

Then we might not have the confusion — and controversy — over what to call the menacing blizzard that is quickly approaching Connecticut.

At odds with the NWS over assigning names to winter storms, a year-old practice, the Weather Channel is calling this tempest Hercules after the Greek mythological hero.

But it’s not all Greek to the meteorologists in the employ of WFSB Channel 3.

Connecticut’s CBS affiliate is going with the name Bethany for this storm. The Weather Channel, be damned.

WFSB has been naming storms since 1971.

“This winter, the theme is names of Connecticut towns that could also be the name of a person,” Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest wrote on the station’s website.

Come to think of it, Winter Storm Seymour has an ominous sound to it.

Here’s more from WFSB’s DePrest:

Early in December 2013, we experienced our first named storm Ashford! In case you’re not familiar, the practice of naming winter storms is something Channel 3 and the Travelers Weather Service began in 1971, a tradition we carry on proudly today – 42 years later! It was all started with a team of meteorologists who broadcasted weather information on Channel 3, WTIC radio with Bob Steele, and other media outlets. A storm has to meet certain criteria in order to be named. We must expect at least 6″ of snow for much of the state and/or ½” of ice accretion. That would be a significant ice storm.

Recently, a nation network, The Weather Channel started naming winter storms – but they cover the entire country. That means they will progress through the alphabet faster than we do. There have already been several major winter storms this season of national significance. I know this creates confusion to our viewers and readers, but if we adopted the Weather Channel’s list of names that would be even more confusing. Therefore, we decided to maintain our own long standing tradition. Many people remember Blizzard Larry, the Blizzard of ’78. The big ice storm of December 1973 was named Felix. More recently, we had to deal with Storm Alfred in late October of 2011. Alfred’s heavy, wet snow caused a record power outage in Connecticut. And it was just in February of this year when Blizzard Charlotte dumped up to 40″ of snow on the state. Yes, people remember names, especially the ones that have been attached to Connecticut’s biggest storms! Occasionally, we get criticized for naming winter storms, but by far most of our viewers love the tradition and find it fun! This winter, the theme is names of Connecticut towns that could also be the name of a person. Here are the first several names: Ashford, Bethany, Chester, Derby, Easton, Franklin, Guilford, and Hampton.

Categories: General
Neil Vigdor

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