AbstractThe practice of naming winter storms has generated a large amount of discussion within the meteorology community of late. While storm naming has typically been reserved for tropical systems, some media organizations in the United States recently began naming winter storms - but often-times using differing criteria. Anecdotal comments have labeled this practice as a marketing initiative and other forecasting organizations have criticized The Weather Channel for naming storms (Palmer, 2013), but little to no research has investigated whether naming winter storms serves useful to forecasters, practitioners, and the general public. The purpose of this study is twofold. First, we hope to further the discussion and investigation of naming winter storms. We provide empirical evidence which suggests that little difference exists between individual perceptions dependent on whether a name is used or the type of name used. The results indicate that individuals do not differ in levels of perceived severity or susceptibility toward a fictional winter storm dependent on the type of name used. Similarly, perceptions of credibility of media organizations do not change dependent on the storm name. Second, we discuss the implications of our results with respect to the current storm naming process, and provide future areas of exploration which can further an understanding of the practice.
Weather, Climate, and Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Aug 16, 2017
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