Jannet Walsh

Naming winter storms

In Blogging, Food, iphone, Minnesota, Minnesota Native Daughter, Murdock, Travel, Video, Willmar on November 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm

By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

What if snow storms were named?

I was thinking snow storms and blizzards should have names, just like hurricanes are named in tropical locations. Snow storms just seem to be plainly named after a date or holiday.

How would the names be selected for a snow storm? When would the names be issued? Would storm naming be a good prescription to combat cabin fever?

Why name winter storms?
Just imagine yourself lodged at home during a blizzard and unable to go outside as the snow is up to the roof and your car is hidden under a snow drift. Knitting sweaters or scarves during the storm, you could attach nicely embroidered labels saying, “Knitted with Love, Snow Storm Ullr 2010” or whatever the name of the storm is. (What is Ullr? Ullr, prounced “Oool-er” is a winter god in Norse mythology know for his beauty and skill with a bow and skis.)

Winter has a harsh side that must be respected, but outdoor winter activities such as ice skating, skiing, ice fishing, snow boarding, just to be list a few cold activities, are a part of Minnesota culture, closely associated with the climate.

I have a fond memory at about age five ice skating by myself for the first time around the entire outdoor skating rink located near the old Lincoln School in Litchfield, my hometown. There was a warming house with a stove and hot chocolate and prepare for the next round of ice skating. I never became an Olympic skater, but did play ice hockey in fourth and fifth grade as at the squirt and pee wee level, about 1974 – 1976. This was before there were hockey teams for girls. Oh, I still have the ice skates, figure skates, I bought with my mother in St. Cloud that have traveled with me since I graduated from Litchfield High School, including when I lived in Europe.

Knowing when to stay bundled up in a cozy home and when to venture outdoors is sometimes a guessing game. The best thing is to watch for weather alerts on wctrib.com or go directly to the National Weather Service.

You could send emails with “Snow Storm X” to impress your friends and family wintering in the usual snow-escape enclaves, any location without snow. They could be following updates, maybe secretly wishing they were enjoying the snow and sipping hot cider near the fireplace instead being bothered with sun burns at the beach or waiting to get a tee time at the golf course.

Posting photos or videos with the named snow storm of your latest family member, although it might be a snow man or snow woman, could be great fun for the entire family. Besides, you might not be going anywhere as you are snowed in, so make the best of it digitally documenting a storm.

How to name winter storms?
Just how would a storm be named and would names be both masculine and female names or maybe another type of naming systems? Would there be a submission of ideas? This is something to figure out.

When to issue named snow storm?
This could be tricky, but maybe a name could be announced when a storm advisory is posted by the National Weather.

What do you think?

Email me what you think of naming snow storms or blizzards
– Send suggestions for snow storm names
– Explain why the name would be good for a snow storm
– Include a memorable snow storm memory
– Include your name, city and email

Email your snow storm information to jwalsh@wctrib.com, with a subject line of Snow.

View a list of historical storms in Minnesota provided by the Minnesota State Climatology Office

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at jwalsh@wctrib.com Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at http://jannetwalsh.blogspot.com/.
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  1. What a great idea. I think we would all know which seasonal snowstorm I would mean if I referred to the “Halloween Blizzard” right?? (I was a senior in HS!!)

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jannetwalsh, aeriall walker. aeriall walker said: Naming winter storms | Minnesota Native Daughter: They could be following updates, maybe secretly wishing they w… http://bit.ly/hroki6 […]

  3. In CT one of the news stations does name the storms, Naming the winter storms that slam our state has been a tradition here at Channel 3 since 1971. Like tropical storms and hurricanes, we alternate gender as we head down the alphabet. Often, there have been themes to how a storm is named. For 2009, winter storms are being named after famous scientists or those who have made significant contributions to the field of science or math. The list of the names for the 2009-2010 season was a collaborative effort between the meteorologists at Channel 3 and the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford. In order for a winter storm to be named, the forecast must call for at least six inches of snow accumulation and/or one-half inch of ice accumulation.

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