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Winter Storm Janus: Storm naming with your family (+video)

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Dave Schwarz/The St. Cloud Times/AP

(Read caption) Winter Storm Janus has nothing on the big winter storms in the middle of the US. In this photo, Walter Berg cleans about six inches of new-fallen snow from his driveway in St. Cloud, Minn., on Jan. 18.

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The Weather Channel sent out an alert yesterday that the latest winter storm will be named ‘Janus,’ leaving some kids wondering about the difference in naming systems for various storm types and the messages those names are trying to convey.

Hurricanes are named after people, while The Weather Channel has seemed to have taken a more scenic route in devising names. 

Either way my son, Quin, 10, surprised me by being totally aggravated with the choice, not because it wasn’t his name, but because he wished storms were named to more accurately reflect their regional intensity level.

“Janus? What is happening here?” he fumed. We live in Norfolk, Va., where snow in anything more than a fleeting dusting hasn’t been seen in years. “How can you tell what kind of storm it’s going to be by that name?”

Kids here in the South have seen storm after storm in this polar vortex that utterly failed to provide more than a drenching rain here.

After being part of the 2013 “Nature’s Fury” challenge with his FIRST LEGO League team, Quin has come to the conclusion that the names of the storms should play a more accurate role in order to more effectively warn people.

What might be a titan in New Jersey is more of a Smurf in southern Virginia.

“They need to stop naming them after people and get serious,” Quin said. “Call it Frost Eclipse or Whiplash.”

Sadly, The Weather Channel thought it was doing just that by naming winter storms differently with the help of a Latin class at Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Mont. 


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