The Weather Channel named the 1st Nor'easter "Athena," and the new western storm is "Brutus." Two names in one week. After no winter storm names for a hundred years, far as I can tell.
I see some upside here, but have reservations. It does help raise public awareness, which could help safety planners. And maybe it'll get the skiers fired up. ("Remember that sick pow day during Gwendolyn?! And Hector's 1000 miles behind!")
But in the end I think it cheapens the greatest storms of all, hurricanes of course. Too much name dilution for the memory bank. And it really seems pretty half assed, with no guidelines or published criteria. At least hurricanes have an accepted definition (tropical storm above 75mph.) It's so subjective to name some winter storms and not others. Are there criteria? Minimum pressure for example?
From the skier's perspective, the best powder days will more often come from local weather rather than named storms anyhow. And if they keep one naming system for the East and West, they'll be well past Z by March. And finally, NOAA seems uninterested in this, which makes me wonder if these names will stick anyway.
I was wondering how other skier/weather buffs felt about this.