Why are winter storms being named all the sudden?

"Athena roughs up Sandy Survivors" blares a headline on the front page of The Weather Channel's website.

But wait a minute...this current Nor'easter isn't a tropical system. Yet, it still has a name.

So who made the decision to give this storm a name in the first place? Turns out it's the folks at The Weather Channel.

In explaining their decision, TWC says "Our goal is to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation."

You can see their list of names on their website.

It didn't take long for the rest of the Meteorological community to chime in on the move.

In a memo, National Weather Service, which is overseen by the Commerce Department of the U.S. Government, quickly issued a statement to it's Meteorologists to refrain from any and all references to "Athena".

"TWC has named the nor'easter Athena," said the memo, which a weather service spokeswoman confirmed. "The NWS does not use name winter storms in our products. Please refrain from using the term Athena in any of our products."

In another statement, the NWS elaborated, saying "The National Weather Service has no opinion about private weather enterprise products and services. A winter storm's impact can vary from one location to another, and storms can weaken and redevelop, making it difficult to define where one ends and another begins. While the National Weather Service does not name winter storms, we do rate major winter storms after the fact."

In an interview with the Philadelphia Enquirer, Joel Myers, the founder of Accu-Weather Inc., is still steaming about the concept.

Myers calls the winter-storm naming a "clever media device" that in the end could undermine the credibility of meteorologists.

He said Accu-Weather has looked at winter-storm naming, but, "Weâ??ve always rejected it."

"Winter storms are totally different," Myers said. "The effects on different places are variable. Itâ??s going to be random and arbitrary.

"Are you going to name an inch of slush?"

Should winter storms get names? Or is this just a clever "media ploy" by the The Weather Channel?