You may have noticed that when I referred to this weekend's snowstorm, I didn't use the name that has been popularly ascribed to it. The Weather Channel has taken it upon themselves to name storms this year, and I don't agree with their methods. Most of my arguments are stated pretty clearly in the article below. In short, I find the naming thing to be more of a publicity stunt than a legitimate effort to aid the scientific community and the public. I do agree that major winter storms would be easier to remember if they had catchy names rather than "Superstorm of 1993" and "Blizzard of 1996". But I think the naming convention needs more study rather than flippantly choosing names and selecting random criteria for when to apply them. It's a problem that could use the input of social scientists, much like the way that the research project that I've recently proposed, involving a team of scientists and social scientists, proposes to integrate social science as a guide to direct more fundamental scientific research. If you have a couple minutes, please check out the article link to read more about how meteorologists feel about the naming of winter storms.
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