Winter Storm Aftermath: Live Updates

January 25, 2016

By Liam Stack, The New York Times

As a meteorological event, “Winter Storm Jonas” is a weather system that looks as if it will pack a punch, an awesome act of nature. As a media event, “Winter Storm Jonas” has been brought to you by The Weather Channel.Website Insert Coach Business Class Food Service copy

The Weather Channel has been naming winter storms since 2012, a practice that has annoyed some but also brought the network a lot of attention and played very well on social media. The terms “winter storm” and “Jonas” dominated Internet search engine rankings on Thursday, encouraging other news media outlets to adopt the name as well.

(The New York Times avoids names for storms other than hurricanes, although it did include “jonas” in the URL for this blog.)

But where did the name come from?

Jonas was drawn from a list of possibilities submitted by the Latin club at Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Mont. (The school has collaborated with The Weather Channel on names for years.)

Among the other options, which may be used at some point this winter, were Kayla, Regis and Yolo, shorthand for “you only live once,” the channel said.

When The Weather Channel began naming winter storms, many criticized it as a cheap publicity stunt designed to attract attention and draw Internet clicks. How the names may play on social media is, in fact, a big part of the network’s decision-making process, Bryan Norcross, its chief meteorologist, told The Washington Post last October.

He said the proposed names submitted by the students in Bozeman were edited to make sure they were short, pronounceable and good hashtag material. He described social media as the “driving force behind the naming.”

The fact that this storm shares its name with a social media-savvy pop star, Nick Jonas, formerly of the boy band the Jonas Brothers, has only added to the online bonanza.

Click here to read the full story.

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