(CBSNews.com) - Remember Nemo? Get ready this winter for Atlas, Electra, Hercules and Rex: The Weather Channel, for the second year, will name snowstorms and blizzards.
The naming system "was a terrific success" last winter, said Bryan Norcross, meteorologist at The Weather Channel. "Nemo was the big storm of the winter and was by far the heaviest use of a name, which was mentioned in more than a million tweets."
Nemo walloped New England with up to 3 feet of snow in early February and killed 14 people in the USA.
The storm-naming criteria are based on National Weather Service thresholds for winter-weather warnings, The Weather Channel reports. The criteria also are based on the storm's expected impact on highly populated metro areas or over a large geographic region.
"Our first year of naming storms proved that it worked, and we were thrilled with the result, which was an ideal demonstration of the intersection of social media and television," Norcross says.
Social media, and Twitter in particular, was a key factor in The Weather Channel's decision to name the storms and continue the naming system this year. Hashtags are a key part of social media communication, Norcross says, and a storm name proved to be the best way to efficiently convey information about the storm.
As winter went on last year, the names seemed to grow in popularity, Norcross says. He saw them used by schools, power companies, newspapers and other organizations and said having a name "focused the conversation" on the storm. In all, 27 storms were named during the winter of 2013-14.
Last year, no other private meteorology firm or weather service used the names coined by The Weather Channel. Most of the reaction to the names was negative when the naming system was announced last year.
"In unilaterally deciding to name winter storms, The Weather Channel has confused media spin with science and public safety," said Joel Myers, founder and president of AccuWeather, a prime competitor of The Weather Channel. "We have explored this issue for 20 years and have found that this is not good science and will mislead the public."
Last October, the National Weather Service released this statement: "The National Weather Service has no opinion about private weather enterprise products and services. ... While the National Weather Service does not name winter storms, we do rate major winter storms after the fact."
Because of the federal government shutdown Tuesday, the weather service could not be reached for comment on its position on winter storm names this winter.
Because The Weather Channel is owned by NBC Universal, NBC stations and networks will probably use the winter storm names, though each division works on its own, Norcross says.
This winter's storm names are from lists created by students at Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Mont., as an assignment in Latin class and are again primarily from Greek and Roman mythology, as they were last winter. Bozeman was blasted by winter Storm Brutus in November 2012.
Among possible headlines this winter: "Cleon clobbers Cleveland," "Hercules hammers Hartford," "Leon lashes Lansing" and "Pax pounds Pittsburgh."
The full list: Atlas, Boreas, Cleon, Dion, Electra, Falco, Gemini, Hercules, Ion, Janus, Kronos, Leon, Maximus, Nika, Orion, Pax, Quintus, Rex, Seneca, Titan, Ulysses, Vulcan, Wiley, Xenia, Yona, Zephyr.