It's one thing for the government to name a major weather event. It's something else when a for-profit commercial enterprise does it.
The Weather Channel announced this winter that major snow storms would now be named, just as hurricanes have been named since 1954. But unlike the monikers selected by the U.S. Government's National Weather Service, guess who names the winter storms? That's right, the Weather Channel, owned by NBC Universal.
I have a problem with this, and the fact that a single business claims the right to name storms is only part of it. Most of all, I don't think major winter storms, particularly blizzards, need a name in order for us to keep track of them.
Summer cooks up several hurricanes every year but blizzards occur only a few times per century. Think Blizzard of '78. For New Englanders, another 35 years passed--to the week, until the Blizzard of '13. In Syracuse where I lived for 32 years, the Blizzard of '66 was the one against which all storms were measured until the Blizzard of '93 dropped 45 inches of snow in a single weekend. That was a 27 year span.
Think of the biggest hurricanes recently; Andrew, Katrina, Charlie. Now quick--what year were they? That's my point. Unless you were personally affected, the names lose their context in your history. But the Blizzard of '78? That occurred in... 1978! It's easy!
Perhaps I would be more open to named winter storms if the Weather Channel successfully lobbied the government to do it. But it didn't. It declared itself the lone authority for the job.
I will follow the lead of most media outlets, ignoring the Weather Channel names, and declaring this blizzard the Blizzard of 2013. Having spent some time outside in it's teeth, "Nemo" doesn't begin to cut it.