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New winter storm names (and 1 you can vote on)

The Weather Channel is out with its third annual list of winter storm names.

Typically, there's scoffing by meteorologists and some voices in the media -- and then news outlets all over can't resist using the artificial labels. (They're not endorsed by any federal weather agency, the way tropical storm names are chosen by the National Hurricane Center.)

Two years ago, we Philly-centrically liked Rocky but dissed how many names were suspiciously familiar from pop culture -- Draco, Luna, Nemo, Q, and Yogi -- despite the Weather Channel giving other definitions.

Last year, hoping for Rocky 2 and expecting the likes of SpongeBob and Wolverine, we look potshots at Pax, since it means "peace," and Ion, because we rightly predicted "Eye on Ion" headlines.

This year, Mashable is leading the charge, calling the list "terrible."

"The list reads like a rundown of characters in a long-awaited Ghostbusters sequel," writes Andrew Freedman. "There's winter storm Eris, Frona, Gorgon and Hektor. And Venus, the Greek goddess of love, is there, too."

Astro was a cartoon dog. And why name a storm after the Roman statesman Cato, who, the TWC says, was "known for integrity?"

"That's exactly what I want in a blizzard: integrity," Freedman snarks.

"Worst of all, we're now stuck with winter storm Linus, which TWC says comes from Greek mythology, meaning "a son of Apollo known as a great musician," but everyone knows is a meek character from Peanuts."

Also debatable is "Bozeman," chosen to honor Erica Shupe's high school Latin class from Bozeman, Mont., which suggested the initial storm names.

The class liked "Bella" for B -- justifiable, sinceTwilight is a weather-related word.

Headline-wise, we can't wait to be boxed in by Pandora, or hammered by Thor (who's now a woman).

While it is sort of cool to let the public vote on one of the names, the choices are kind of lame: Warren, Wodin,  ilda, Willie and Wolf.

Willie? Better would be Wolverine. Or even Wonka.

Here's the list. See the Weather Channel rundown for capsule explanations.

AstroBozemanCatoDamonErisFronaGorgonHektorIolaJunoKariLinusMarcusNeptuneOctaviaPandoraQuantumRemusSpartaThorUltimaVenusW ??? – to be decided by a pollXanderYuli Zelus

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or Follow @petemucha on Twitter.