Our obsession with the weather goes back forever. The Farmer’s Almanac deals with weather and others in history dating back thousands of years have based their lives on the sun, the wind, the rain and the snow.
People have had gods for the sun and the rain for crying out loud.
But at some point our obsession with weather turned really weird – to the point that most Philly TV stations have an entire team of people to work on the weather. There are all kinds of weather gizmos, radar, 3-D radar, Doppler, animated radar, you name it and they have it. Then of course when it comes to snow there’s always the wooden ruler in the snow trick to measure accumulation.
Now I don’t want anyone to think I don’t appreciate the effort. Believe me, I’d much rather know days in advance that a hurricane is headed my way rather than a couple of hours. It makes going to the store for break, milk and batteries much easier to handle.
There is the Weather Channel and all sorts of national weather media outlets. It’s just amazing how much is out there for those addicted to weather and what it does. There also is PEMA, FEMA and all sorts of other emergency folks ready to pounce once the flooding starts, the earthquakes rock or the storms blow through.
No one needs to hear how the weather affects our daily lives. If you don’t believe it, look at the days leading up to the arrival of Sandy. And it doesn’t stop there. After Sandy crushed New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie is still taking the heat for chumming it up with President Obama to the point where he’s being blamed for helping cost Mitt Romney the chance to land in the White House.
And now it has come to this…
The Weather Channel has dropped the hammer and ignited a weather war. How you ask? Because the group that has brought you people like Jim Cantore has decided to name winter storms. So why is that such a big deal?
Evidently in the weather circles it’s as bad as giving sports stadiums names like Lincoln Financial Field, the Staple Center or the First Union Center…
The guys and gals at the National Weather Service and AccuWeather are pretty miffed about the whole thing. They are lining up ready to toss the proverbial snowball at the Weather Channel guys saying the whole idea is dumb and will ultimately reduce the credibility of those in the weather circles. Never mind the John Bolaris “Storm of the Century” blunder…
The nor’easter that is set to pound the east coast has a name – Athena. Not to jump into the fray of naming or not naming although I think naming a hurricane makes a lot more sense than naming a winter storm, but at least they could have gone with a more menacing name. I mean, c’mon, Athena? When I hear that name I think of a beautiful goddess, someone worshiped by thousands in ancient times.
If I was to name a winter story I’d have gone with an Agatha, Agnes (hurricane name I know), Bertha and Attilla perhaps? Athena doesn’t cut it for me.
So now we’re faced with a weather watcher war over the naming of winter storms. Nevermind that while they’re fighting it out we’re shoveling snow, dodging sleet or plowing through flooded streets.
Let’s leave it at this: guys, get back to predicting storms and ditch naming the winter deals. Who cares? We’re more worried about “left turns to the coast,” and snowfall amounts and ice storms than what dumb name you came up with.
So play nice, report the weather and be done with it.
By the way, so far there’s not a flake in the skies of West Chester that I can see…
— Andy Hachadorian