Stop the sticks, the Weather Channel is innovating weather science.
During the upcoming 2012-13 winter season The Weather Channel will name noteworthy winter storms. Our goal is to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation.
Consider the benefits of a named Winter Storm.
Naming a storm raises awareness.
Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.
A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.
In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.
A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future.
The scientific benefits here elude me, but I do see the persuasion benefits and given that the Weather Channel is currently owned by NBCUniversal, Blackstone Group Investing, and Bain Capital, that makes sense. Essentially anytime somebody in the lower 48 might get 6-12 inches of snow, there’s a name for that. Here’s the lineup for 2012-13.
Plato. Iago. Rocky. Q?
Can you believe this weather foolishness? But doncha just love the great persuasion.
Walda. Freyr. Luna. Sound like names for international pornstars with just a hint of Classical Learning about them.
See the General Semantics play here as the Weather Channel tries to make the Word the Thing. You can hang anything from Ukko, Triton, or Magnus and create an instant brand. And for 90% of the Other Guys who hear about Xerxes, the event is meaningless. They live in a land not ruled by that tyrant. But, the name makes it more real, memorable, almost as if You Are There.
This is also part of the great persuasion play: Tell Me A Story. You can make something seem almost real when it is embedded in a story because the demands of the story fill in all the embarrassing gaps and inconsistencies in what you really know. Currently (mid January 2013) America is bracing for Winter Storm Iago. Iago. In snow. He’s a warrior of Venice for crying out loud. Iago never even saw a snowflake, but it’s a great name with a great story even if people might confuse him a new contestant on American Idol.
The persuasion here is so transparent, I’m surprised anyone involved can keep a straight face. I don’t watch the Weather Channel as much as I should because it is so hokey. I imagine that PT Barnum events sounded a lot like the Weather Channel. Lots of word games like Egress Here.
But, what’s good for the bottom line for the venture capitalist running dogs is not great for science. There’s nothing remotely official or scientific or boring about this play, but everyone at the Weather Channel acts like one of those physicians wearing the lab coat at a press conference. The science of weather is simply so bad that people can make tons of money in public by calling themselves scientists while discussing the meteorological fine points of Winter Storm Orko.
When a guy like Jim Cantore is a public weather expert there’s absolutely no hope for the IPCC policy changes.