What's up with these "ancient" cities that show up on weather maps?

Whenever I look at weather maps, I notice there are towns showing up that don’t exist. I’m assuming they are old/abandoned towns. Why do weather forcasters use these ancient maps? Why not updated ones?

Not really answering the question - but could you link to examples of this?
Are these maps North American, European, Asian or other areas?

Old airfield names perhaps? Region names?

Maybe they are like those “copyright trap” items you find in road maps and such
(link to Copyright traps article on some obscure website)

I always hear weather forecasters reporting on weather conditions from places in this state that I never in my life ever heard of. Like that?

Agreed, we need a link. I’ve never seen non-existent towns used on a weather map (I assume you mean one displayed on TV).

That’s exactly what my first thought was.

They might be a combination of towns that don’t exist anymore, and towns you think don’t exist anymore. Look at thisone, between Akron and Cleveland, Ohio. You’ll see just north of Akron, a place called “Botzum,” and west, “Pigeon Creek.” Botzum used to be a real place, but it doesn’t exist anymore. Pigeon Creek seems to be an actual place with a 2000 census, but I’ve never heard of it, and I live about 20 miles from there. There are places on this map that close to where I live that I’ve never heard of. Beebetown?

They may be using a “Censusus Designated Place”. There are a few of those around metropolitan Atlanta that only show up on weather maps.

How disappointing. I thought the OP was going to link to maps with place names such as “Ubar,” “Babylon,” and maybe “Atlantis.”

“Rain today, with the possibility of catastrophic tsunamis and complete societal breakdown and the sinking and extinction of our entire civilization. Back to you, Amoticles!”

It may be the announcer just trying to make it personal for their audience. Instead of just reporting weather for a couple of standard locations over and over, they will try to use different towns and the like so that the listeners/watchers may go ‘Hey they mentioned my town’ and then do a big smily face like this :smiley: but sometimes the location they chose to report doesn’t really exist anymore, then the listener may go :dubious: or :confused: or :rolleyes: or in rare cases :eek:

Just a WAG, perhaps these are places with weather stations. ( probably automated these days ).

The weather maps for my area list as communities places called “Tanglewilde”, “Thompson Place”, and “Mushroom Corner”, which according to Wikipedia are CDP’s, but which i’ve never heard ANYONE use to describe those places, even people who live there. Everyone just calls the entire community where those three places are supposedly located as “Hawks’ Prairie”, a name which, conversely, i’ve never seen on any map.

It probably pulls from a database of place names that includes historical names, like the list put out by the Board on Geographic Names at the USGS. (Microsoft Streets and Trips used to (and might still) put this weird name in the middle of my town, and I just downloaded the file for my state and found it listed there as a historical place.)

Datapoint for Oklahoma.

Ingeneral, the weather reports only hit the big towns. However, when there are tornados, doppler radar is pretty damn precise, so they localize possible and confirmed tornados down to the section roads they’re crossing at the time (one mile gridding) and the nearest town name (no matter how small it may be).

I think this could be it. Every once in a while I see a location on a map that makes no sense, only to discover that it is a Census-designated place. In the southwest corner of my county, there is a township with one of those. The township has 25,000+ people and is just a collection of subdivisions built a bit outside Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County. There are actual villages throughout the county, but in that township, there is a chunk of irregularly shaped land with the Census-designated tag on it. I can discern the roads that indicate the land, but given the actual number and locations of different subdivisions (inside and outside the mapped perimeter, it appears to make sense only to some census geek who has never actually lived there.

I think in a lot of cases they are just recording stations.

If you look at this page, which is a listing of hourly readings from recording stations in the Denver/Boulder area, you can click on one of the stations, and it allows you to get to a map of the area where the recordings are taken.

I picked Polhemus at random, and a few clicks will take you to this map. If you zoom in, you’ll see that there are no structures of any kind in the area, in fact it is a ridge about 100 meters off a dirt road. Zoom all the way in and you can see a triangular white thing that is the recording station. If this station records an important event, it is reported as “a wind gust of 107 mph was recorded at Polhemus at 10:15 AM.” They have to identify it some way, even if the closest town is Sedalia, about 20 miles away.

I see this a lot on my GPS. I’ll be driving along in a rural area and will see a name like “Daytown” on my screen and, sure enough, there is a road called Daytown Road nearby. Occasionally, there is an old store or church nearby named Daytown Baptist or some such. Peple generally refer to this as “I live in the Daytown area, over on Filbert Road.” These are towns that either never made it out of the embryonic stage, or faded away. For purposes of the local weather, the people who live in the Daytown area generally know where they live and can take cover accordingly.

Some of the names are really lovely: in middle Tennessee I have seen Hoodoo, Daylight, The Cove, Bluewing, Salome, and Sailor’s Rest.

That map appears to simply be the Google Map (terrain view) of the area in question. Google Maps does tend to show some rather odd place names. I assume it uses all sorts of old and open-source gazetteers to gather data.

Yes, I need to know about weather-related flight delays at the Ur airport.

I’ve never seen ancient cities on a weather map either…

The closest I can come up with is that I’ll see “Tri-Cities” listed on weather maps for Washington state. There are actually four cities there (ironic, huh?) and that’s not the legal name of any of them.

But I do know that people in my neck of the woods (western Washington) often to refer to things as cities that aren’t. For example “Lake City” and “Belltown” are both parts of Seattle proper, despite having neighborhood names that suggest they’re a city and a town. Maltby is an area that keeps trying to incorporate as a city, but hasn’t been permitted to, yet.

I suppose I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see names like those on a weather map, especially if it’s one that shows a very small geographic region.