How Winter Storms Get Their Name

A winter storm crossing the central and Midwest states has forecasts for anywhere from a dusting to more than a foot of snow. Much of the lower Corn Belt is under a winter storm warning as the storm rolls through, with the possibility of blizzard warnings. Forecasting snowfall totals can be puzzling, but perhaps more puzzling is that this storm system has a name: Winter Storm Landon. However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reserves naming storms for hurricanes only. Names for winter storms actually come from The Weather Channel, which drafts names for winter storm systems that meet specific criteria. For a name, at least one of the following must be met: National Weather Service winter storm, blizzard, or ice storm warnings covering at least a population of two million, or covering at least an area of 400,000 square kilometers. The Weather Channel names storms alphabetically, meaning this is the 12th named storm this winter.

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