Weather Channel Names A Storm Xenia; Wrong on Both Counts


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Winter Storm Young Xenia is in Minnesota tonight. Courtesy of NOAA

Winter Storm Young Xenia is in Minnesota tonight. Courtesy of NOAA

The Weather Channel, without explanation, failed to name last week’s storm which brought record-breaking wind, snow, and cold to the eastern states from Florida to Maine.

Now TWC has named a storm in a place where storms of this magnitude are a dime a dozen, and which will not break, nor come close to breaking, any records.

Let’s Get The Names Straight

Last week’s storm was correctly designated Xenia by Decoded Science. The Weather Channel has chosen that name for this storm, so to keep the peace and some semblance of order, Decoded Science will call this storm Young Xenia, as it is an immature disturbance which would like to, but never will, approach the real Xenia in scope or impact.

Who Will Young Xenia Affect?

Young Xenia will bring modest amounts of snow to the unpopulated northern plains and extreme northern midwest. The nearest large population center, Minneapolis-St. Paul, will receive no more than a dusting of snow after Young Xenia starts off as rain. Winds may be moderate in Minneapolis, but not excessive.

Young Xenia could bring minimal blizzard conditions to parts of the Dakotas, where most of the residents are covered with fur and have four legs. As compared to the elder Xenia, which brought true blizzard conditions with hurricane-force winds to Cape Cod and Down East Maine, Young Xenia is a fairly tame offspring.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Young Xenia may not be powerful enough to warrant a name, but some of Her efforts will be impressive nonetheless. Up to 18 inches of snow will fall in parts of North Dakota and northern Minnesota. The snow will mount up even if there’s no one to measure it, and 18 inches, though not unique for this snowy season, is still a creditable performance even for an adolescent storm.

Though true blizzard conditions of visibility reduced to 1/4 mile in snow or blowing snow combined with winds of 35 miles per hour lasting for at least three hours may not happen, blizzard-like conditions will surely occur. In Minnesota, the snow will last through the night and into Tuesday.

The Future of Young Xenia

Young Xenia has the potential to mature into  a nameable entity. Unfortunately, Her path will take Her into Canada, with minimal effects in the United States after tonight. South-central Canada  could see blizzard conditions develop on Tuesday, but again the major effects will  be in unpopulated areas.

Naming the Next Storm

It is a mystery to us at Decoded Science why the Weather Channel refused to name the real Xenia last week, and now has chosen to name a storm that is less deserving. We hope that The Weather Channel will use better judgment when it comes to using the next name on their list. That name, Winter Storm Yona, is of obscure Indian derivation, and though Decoded Science would have preferred a more interesting and edifying name, we will accept it as long as it is used judiciously to apply to a worthy storm.

Forecasts indicate another storm like Young Xenia could affect the midwest and great plains on Friday. This storm could take a path a little to the south of Young Xenia’s and definitely has the potential to be worthy of a name.

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