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Press Release

October 18, 2016

The Weather Channel Announces Winter Storm Names for 2016-2017

Fortis, Helena and Pluto among those on this season’s list

ATLANTA (Oct. 18, 2016) -- Today The Weather Channel revealed its list of winter storm names for 2016-2017, which includes Argos, Leo, Maya and Xavier. This marks the fifth year the network has named winter storms with the purpose of simplifying and expediting communications to and from residents in the storms’ paths.
The storm-naming criteria are based on National Weather Service (NWS) thresholds for winter storm warnings. Storms will be named when either of two criteria are met: a population of 2 million and/or an areal coverage of at least 400,000 sq. km. (about the size of Montana) are expected to go under those NWS warnings.
Capital Weather Gang commentary on winter storm naming suggests the weather community should begin adopting the process. Winter storm names help convey information in an easy-to-use format that allows meteorologists and residents to communicate critical instructions and storm reports.
“Looking back over last year’s winter storms reminds us of the importance communication and information sharing play in alerting residents to forecasts for storms that could significantly affect lives,” said Tom Niziol, winter weather expert for The Weather Channel. “Winter Storm Jonas was the heaviest snowstorm on record in New York City, according to NOAA, and it also pummeled the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. It’s vital to get life-saving information distributed quickly in a way the public can easily consume.”
The names are taken primarily from Greek and Roman mythology and are short, so they can organically become part of prevalent social media communications via hashtags. Stella, from Latin meaning star; Decima, one of the Fates in Roman mythology; and Jupiter, the supreme god in Roman mythology; are a few selections from this season’s list.
This year the names were announced via Facebook Live. As social media continues to be an essential part of storytelling weather events, The Weather Channel has embraced Facebook Live as a strategic way to connect with viewers. For this announcement, the network wanted to give the audience a deeper understanding of why the network names winter storms and give them an opportunity to ask questions of our experts. See all the winter storm names and their meaning here.
The Weather Channel television network
For more than 34 years, The Weather Channel television network has been the leader in severe weather coverage, providing the most comprehensive analysis of any media outlet. For six years in a row, Harris Poll has ranked The Weather Channel as the “TV News Brand of the Year.” With trusted meteorologists who analyze, forecast and report the weather - its expertise is unrivaled.  Engaging with fans and delivering content to feed their fascination with all things weather is paramount to the network’s mission.  With the recently launched community platform, weloveweather.tv, the network created a 2-way dialogue with fans, establishing an ongoing relationship with those that have a passion for weather. For more information visit weathergroup.com.