Watch out: Astro, Cato and Damon could be walloping you this winter. Those are among the rather unusual names that The Weather Channel will give to major snowstorms this winter. The 2014-15 list is the third year in a row that The Weather Channel has unilaterally decided what to call powerful winter storms that are disruptive to a large number of people. "It's simply easier to communicate about a complex storm if it has a name, which our naming program has demonstrated," said Bryan Norcross, senior hurricane specialist at The Weather Channel and compiler of the list. (Not everyone agrees: The National Weather Service does not name winter storms, and many broadcast meteorologists ignore The Weather Channel’s naming convention.)
This year’s list of 26 names — one for each letter of the alphabet — will be used in alphabetical order. Many are obscure-sounding and come from Greek and Roman mythology, such as Cato, Eris, Gorgon and Iola. Two notable exceptions: Bozeman, "in honor of the Miss Shupe’s Bozeman High School Latin class, which provided the 2013-2014 list of winter storm names," and the yet-to-be-determined “W” storm, whose name will be determined by fan vote.
— James Eng