Nemo. Really? Have we actually sunk to this level? I grew up watching The Weather Channel. Ever since it first aired in 1982, when the cable box in my house was this little brown and black thing without any digital readout whatsoever, I had it on.
The meteorologists were my friends. Mark Mancuso. Jeff Morrow. John Hope. I drove my parents nuts watching it all day and all night. I did that when the weather was sunny, but you can imagine what it was like when there was a snowstorm or hurricane on the pre-doppler radar.
Fast forward 31 years. Gosh that makes me feel old. But 31 years later and I can’t mention The Weather Channel without laughing. It’s messier than slush that has melted and refrozen for a week. Its decision to name winter storms has rubbed me the wrong way – so much so that I will never watch the channel again.
The blizzard currently bearing down on the Northeast is forecast to be historic. Up to 3 feet of snow in some places Winds in excess of hurricane force. Flooding. Beach erosion. I just read that some places in New Jersey that were devastated by Sandy are flooded.
And The Weather Channel has decided to name it Nemo.
Nemo. As in the bright orange clownfish from the movie “Finding Nemo.” You know, because when you think of an iconic Pixar movie, you always think of death and destruction.
To hear The Weather Channel tell it, naming winter storms makes sense because we name hurricanes and naming these helps to ensure the public knows everything about it. And from what I understand, a meteorologist was instrumental in helping to come up with the whole thing. If there are licenses, this person’s should be revoked.
Actually, it’s marketing genius. It truly is. Make the name the talk of social media. There are Nemo memes. Nemo everything. But remember: The Weather Channel wants you to believe the name is a public service. Well, no one is associating this storm with the word dangerous. They are associating it with the cute orange clownfish. As I said, marketing genius. But serious? Nope. Weather? Not at all.
Offensive to our intelligence? In the worst way.
I’m happy that the National Weather Service has instructed its forecasters not to pay any attention to the antics of The Weather Channel. I’m happy that most of the people in my circles still laugh at it. But I’m sad that a part of my childhood – a part that I once loved – is no more. Things change.
I leave you with the words of the great Dory, the lovable blue fish in the movie: “P.Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.”
I would absolutely love to know your thoughts about The Weather Channel’s winter storm naming convention. Share them in the comments – or tweet me at @scottkleinberg.