Here's the Scoop: January 2, 2013

What’s in a name?
Does anyone else think that the new trend of “naming” winter storms my just be a bit of overkill?
So far, Euclid, Draco and Freyr are among the winter storm names that have been applied by the Weather Channel, with its bold idea of attaching an identity to winter storms.

In theory, it seems like a good plan to apply a title for winter storms. But, I think this is a strategy that will take some adjustment. So far, whenever I’ve seen these storm designations, the first thought that springs to mind is that they have hired celebrity couples to choose the monikers.
Many dubbed the approximate four-foot blizzard blast that hit the Catskills and much of the Northeast three years ago Snowmageddon. That was a cool name and very appropriate. Certainly a storm of that magnitude deserved a title that could go down in history to help define the relentless power of Mother Nature.

On the other hand, I’m starting to think that the naming craze may be getting slightly out of control. What, exactly, are the parameters that indicate that a storm is name-worthy?
For instance, on the night after Christmas the region got the heaven-sent present of approximately 8-10 inches of snow. Skiers, resort owners, restaurateurs, shopkeepers and everyone else (pretty much all of us) who benefit economically from winter sports activities, rejoiced. This was nearly perfect timing with plenty of days to go in the holiday period.

Three days later, another five or six inches fell. Frosting on the winter cake. Perfect. Again.

Nice to see, but...
These snowfalls were vital to the region’s cash flow, but did they deserve names? The first one was borderline, however, I don’t think it was that big of a deal. Plus, anyone who has spent much time in the Catskills knows snowfall amounts vary greatly, depending on one’s elevation.
I recall an October 30, 2008 storm that dumped 17 inches at our house (I have pictures). The storm dropped only about 6-8 inches at the lower elevations in Margaretville. When the plow driver arrived before dawn, headlights cutting through the heavy snowfall like a scene from a Spielberg movie, he took a plowing break, shook his head and “Muttered, you sure have a lot of snow up here.”
At our house, that snowfall was worth naming. In fact, we dubbed it the: “So, That’s What They Mean By More Snow At Higher Elevations” storm.

I hate to brag, but we have been naming winter storms much longer than the Weather Channel. And we don’t have Doppler radar.

Because it’s still, technically, the holiday season, I’ll share some other storm names with you. I have trademarked some of them so, please, no unauthorized borrowing.

Needs more description
For instance, the storm that the Weather Channel bestowed with the forgettable name Euclid, quickly become known around our house as the “The Snow’s Too Deep For The Cat – Prepare The Litter Box For The First Time This Season” storm. Sure, it’s a bit wordy, but it tells the tale. The tail, too.
We also have a generic term for significant snowfalls, that we use upon first viewing in the morning, dubbing them “The Trees Got Shorter” storms. It works.

And, each fall, there’s the recurring, “Why Didn’t We Get The Snow Tires Put On Yet?” storm. From the lines at the car shop, I doubt this name will hold up in a trademark dispute.
Plus, there’s the old fallback, “I Remember When It Snowed Like This Pretty Much ALL Winter” kind of storms. Those were the days. No names needed.
Happy, Snowy New Year.
— Brian Sweeney