From the ABC 7 Weather team

Winter Storms: Weather Brains-The Naming Discussion

October 9, 2012 - 04:03 PM
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A look behind the reasons for naming winter storms

Last evening, I was happy to be part of a unique on-line discussion about the decision of The Weather Channel to begin naming winter storms this winter. The program is "Weather Brains" hosted by my colleague James Spann  ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, AL  The topic was the recent decision by The Weather Channel to begin naming winter storms.  We were joined by long-time friend Bryan Norcross, now a hurricane specialist at The Weather Channel, but also a leader with TWC winter storm naming decison.  Bryan is known for his incredible broadcast work during hurricane Andrew,as shown here:


Bryan was the first to really communicate the uncertainty of forecasting storm tracks.  The decision by TWC has been controversial, as myself and many other have blogged about, but Bryan gave some great arguments for why naming winter storms may help get better public response.  Here is the complete discussion James has posted on You Tube.



Nate Johnson was part of the group (Nate posted this great blog) and started with a great question for Bryan 25 minutes in to the show.  James encourages you to skip to the good parts :>)  Bryan gives us the reasoning behind the decision 28 minutes in this Google+Hangout.  I asked Bryan about a concern, many of us in broadcast meteorology have, (33 minutes in) that TWC naming convention will not be adopted by everyone in a competitive media environment and may create confusion.  Kevin Selle, a Weather Brains regular and broadcast meteorologist with Texas Cable News, asked Bryan about this just being a "marketing" ploy (43 minutes in) and Bryan gives his honest answer.  Other good points to listen to is the view of Brian Peters, (58 minutes in) a retired NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist, and Bryan's response.  We even got into talking about TWC, Dr. Greg Forbes, TOR:CON index for tornado risk.  James not a big fan, and we covered other topics.  In summary though, everyone on this great show that James hosted is 100% committed to the same goal which is better communication of weather and weather risk to help you, the public, make the best weather related decision, not only this coming winter, but any season.  Be sure to take our latest poll about this winter storm naming idea and let us know what you think.  Thanks James and sure thanks Bryan.


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