Weather Channel's Storm Names Fuel Social Media Weather Hype

Michael Dolce

The Weather Channel's storm names have been causing serious weather hype - and with it, heavy anxiety among social media users. According to a report on The Wall Street Journal, the Weather Channel's storm name's have driven Facebook users to mobilize.

"A Facebook group called 'Stop the Weather channel from naming winter storms' launched last winter," the report mentioned. "And now has a little more than 1,430 'likes.'"

Some posts from these groups include members simply venting their frustration over the Weather Channel,. Take for example, this slightly hostile post from STOP the Weather Channel from naming winter storms - it's stupid:

"When you look around, you realize that the only people who DON'T think naming winter storms is stupid are the stupid people at The Weather Channel."

Others have found some weather outlets who agree with their position, such as this post, quoting

"Until a concrete, known, objective set of data is made known nationally and produced by a government agency or a collaborative of scientists who are naming storms because of objective criteria and not because of some in-house formula that nobody will know about, we will continue to avoid referring to winter storms by name at this site."
"Media companies attempt to brand the news all the time—each day's big event earns a tagline that flashes onto the screen beneath the hosts on CNN and Fox News. But these words—"Crisis in Syria," and similar—are just concise descriptions of the events themselves, unlikely, in the end, to be particularly memorable. But something like "Boreas" is an ideally branded word. Every time you refer to it this week on Twitter and Facebook, you are creating a so-called impression for the Weather Channel. Two weeks ago, only Greek scholars would have been tweeting about it; today, your aunt is."

In the end, the Weather Channel's job is to inform us of impending weather conditions in our area, like their accurate forecast for Winter Storm Nika that is currently pounding the Midwest and East Coast. So really, the most important question isn't "should the Weather Channel name storms," but rather "did they get it right?"