The area is bracing for Winter Storm Hercules today into Friday.

But how did the storm get its name?

Last year, the Weather Channel began naming winter storms in an effort to enhance communication regarding big storms; much like how hurricanes are named in an effort to distinguish between destructive storms.

A total of 27 storms were named during the 2012-2013 winter from Athena in early November to Achilles in early May.

According to the Weather Channel, a storm must meet certain criteria before it is named. Forecasts must show that the storm is expected to "produce conditions that meet the National Weather Service winter-weather warning thresholds over a main population center or multiple states, beginning generally within 48 hours; and it is forecast to produce winter weather conditions that would be historic, especially unusual or memorable."

Prior to officially naming winter storms, historic storms were given nicknames after the fact, such as the Perfect Storm in 1991, the Storm of the Century in 1993, Snowmageddon in 2010 and Snowpocalypse in 2011.

This year's winter storm names include: 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 and Zephyr.