Local Broadcasters Critical of The Weather Channel’s Plan to Name Storms

By Kevin Eck 

Just days after The Weather Channel’s announcement it would name significant winter storms, the Washington Post is reporting broadcast meteorologists are questioning the move.

The Post reports the idea may stem from good intentions, but wonders whether a broadcasting outlet should be in charge of weather forecasting,

It’s a bold (even arrogant?) move, because – in a sense – TWC is laying claim to custody of the nation’s major winter weather events.

The article quotes several local meteorologists who view the move with skepticism,

Andrew Freiden, a broadcast meteorologist in Richmond, (WWBT) put it bluntly: “Weather Channel to name Winter Storms! First Thought: “Who died and made them King?!”

But in its press release announcing the decision, The Weather Channel said, in effect, it’s better they do it than allowing someone less qualified.  TWC credits pop culture with the monikers ‘Snowmageddon’ and ‘Snotober’.

“The Weather Channel has the meteorological ability, support and technology to bring a more systematic approach to naming winter storms, similar to the way tropical storms have been named for years.”

It seems most of the criticism stems from the view TWC is usurping both government agencies and recognized professional groups who track the weather.  Bob Ryan from WJLA in Washington, D.C. had this to say in the article,

I call this a “preemptive” decision because there was, from everything I have learned, NO coordination of this decision to name winter storms with the National Weather Service or any of the professional groups such as the Weather Coalition, groups within the AMS or NWA.

You can read the article in its entirety by clicking here.  You can also follow the links in the online article to view the Posts original piece about the decision as well as the press release from The Weather Channel.