Naming winter storms: Not less confusion, more confusion

I was prompted by a conversation with one of my friends on Facebook to take a look at who’s talking about the most-recently-named winter storm on Twitter and why. Amongst one of the first results was this from an unfortunately confused person who believes the National Weather Service is responsible for this:

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 2.06.40 PM

That led me to see whether this was an isolated misunderstanding or something bigger.  I searched Twitter for “NWS” and “Gandolf” and found it was not at all isolated.  Most folks seem to think the NWS spelled “Gandolf” with an ‘o’ (after the character from the 1896 novel, The Well at the World’s End) instead of with an ‘a’ (after the wizard from the Tolkien novels) to avoid copyright lawsuits, but there are myriad examples of people who believe the NWS is behind this storm-naming business in its entirety:

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 2.20.42 PM

As a refresher, the National Weather Service neither names winter storms nor uses the names proffered by media:

Courtesy: Washington Post

Courtesy: Washington Post

The Weather Channel stated they wanted to reduce confusion by naming winter storms; unfortunately, they have done the exact opposite.


About Nate Johnson

Meteorologist, instructor, blogger, and podcaster.
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2 Responses to Naming winter storms: Not less confusion, more confusion

  1. Pingback: Don’t name that winter storm just yet | The Editor's Desk

  2. A key element in DirecTV’s negotiations with The Weather Channel should be that it will only put TWC back on its system if it stops naming wintry storms!

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