This past week, the East Coast was hit by a very severe winter storm. A storm called Nemo. But not like the fish, or the Captain created by Jules Verne. No, no, this is the latest ploy by The Weather Channel to seem, I don’t know, important? Back when TWC first began, there were a lot of meteorologists that looked like what we all thought meteorologist looked like… bad suits and kinda nerdy. Well, that is not what The Weather Channel looks like now. Eye candy, yep, that’s what we have now. Tall, dark and handsome men, and hot women showing off their assets. Suddenly weather needs to be sexy.
It seems The Weather Channel has decided that winter storms, just like hurricanes, need to be named. Why? Ratings of course. In 2011 when they nicknamed the Halloween surprise snowstorm “Snowtober,” the ratings went through the roof. Why let that bit of fortune go to waste? Enter winter storm naming. Now it seems the National Weather Service, who names all the hurricanes and is the, well National Weather Service, is not a fan of naming winter storms. A spokesman for the NWS recently stated ”We never have, nor do we have any plans to consider naming winter storms.” A nice high and mighty stance, one which will no doubt change if The Weather Channel keeps getting more and more popular.
So this week we had Nemo. The name comes from a Greek boy’s name meaning “from the valley,” means “nobody” in Latin. Really? Is anyone buying that? What TWC has done is use names which we envision to mean one thing but they have another meaning… apparently so they don’t get their asses sued.
What other names have been chosen? Well, how about Gandolf which is named for a character in a 1896 fantasy novel in a pseudo-medieval countryside, NOT Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. Then there’s Khan, Mongolian conqueror, not Ricardo Montalban wearing a really bad wig in Star Trek. And is anyone really gonna buy that calling a storm Rocky is about a single mountain in the Rockies chain?
Will this name game gain popularity and become the norm? Probably. The world today is obsessed with nicknames, think J-Lo, Brangelina, Arod, the list is endless. And social media is already on board. #nemo was trending on Twitter for days.
Personally, I can’t wait until they get to almost the end of the alphabet. For the Y, the name they are using is Yogi… as in people who do yoga. Not Berra. Sure. And no one will be quoting any Yogisms either. Like when one of the meteorologists is asked how long the storm will last and he answers “It ain’t over til it’s over.”
It’ll be like “deja vu all over again.”