The Weather Channel names storms to help differentiate storms from another, making it customizable by location. Winter storms are declared off of two key, objective criteria: whether two million people are in a "warning zone" (as defined by the National Weather Service), or if a 400,000 square kilometer territory is going to affected. Then the naming system goes into effect. During winter, having names is crucial to informing the public, as there could be three storms at once across the country, and it can be difficult to warn the public about an impactful snow event by just calling it a snowstorm.