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How snowstorms get their names

Photo courtesy of Flickr / medialoog

blog by S.J. Velasquez  • 

Tropical storms get exotic human names, but the National Weather Service, located right here in Buffalo, doesn’t want to let hurricanes have all the fun.

For more than a decade, the National Weather Service has been naming lake effect storms according to annual themes, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports. Storms have been named after dog breeds, minerals, Native American tribes and leaders, and even fruits.

Like tropical storms, the names of storms are determined in alphabetical order—with the annual theme in mind, of course. For example, during the 2004-2005 winter season, storms were apple, banana, cherry, date, and so forth. It got a little dicey when storms reached the letter “i,” forcing the weather service to turn to Central American produce for inspiration. That storm was named, “ilama.”

So what’s in store for this year’s lake effect storms?

Cows. This year’s theme is bovine breeds.

Photo courtesy of Flickr / medialoog.

TAGGED: cows, national weather service, rochester democrat and chronicle, snow, snowstorms, storms

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  1. Katherine Mary November 30, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    I had no idea that a) the National Weather Service was located in Buffalo and b) that they’re in charge of naming lake effect storms… good article, SJ!

    Katherine Mary's avatar