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Stop Calling This Blizzard ‘Juno’

You may have heard people referring to the blizzard that’s bearing down on the East Coast as “Juno.” Personally, I thought Juno was a name better left to the excellent 2007 film, but the Weather Channel decided in 2012 to start naming winter storms. Like Juno, many of these names — including Eris, Neptune, Remus and Zelus — come from Greek and Roman mythology.

A lot of other weather outlets don’t approve of the Weather Channel’s policy. In fact, the National Weather Service and the Weather Channel’s chief private competitor, AccuWeather, appear to hate it. AccuWeather’s founder and president, Joel Myers, has said, “The Weather Channel has confused media spin with science and public safety and is doing a disservice to the field of meteorology and public service.”

So, who’s “winning” the naming battle? Are people calling this storm Juno?

According to NewsLibrary.com, a website that collects data from various print and television outfits, the words “Juno” and “snow” have appeared in only 23 articles and newscasts since Thursday. “Juno” and “blizzard” have appeared in just 21. That number will probably rise as more data is collected and the storm gets underway, but it’s a fraction of the storm coverage overall — “blizzard” and “2015” have appeared (without “Juno”) 182 times in the same period.

Google News shows the same thing. A search for “Juno” returns only 485,000 hits as of this writing. A search for “blizzard” and “New York” (a fairly restrictive search) hits upon about 8,800,000 results.

People searching on Google (via Google Trends) are more evenly split, but again blizzard is beating out Juno.

On Twitter, tradition is also winning the naming battle. The hashtag “#blizzardof2015” was romping “#Juno” by about 105,000 tweets to 25,000 (again, as of this writing).

I’m not a huge fan of naming winter storms, and it seems the rest of the press and the public (at least online) agrees.

Harry Enten is a senior political writer and analyst for FiveThirtyEight.

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