The Wrath Of Gorgon

I had heard that we were due for some cold weather and snow today, so I checked the Weather Channel website to try to get some details on timing of the snowfall.  There I learned that it wasn’t just any snowstorm heading our way — it is winter storm Gorgon that is bearing down on us and will be bringing heavy snow and a few days of bitter cold.


Apparently last year’s constant discussion of one “polar vortex” after another wasn’t sufficient.  “Polar vortex” apparently is too abstract.  Now we’ve started naming those brutal winter storms, just like we name hurricanes and typhoons.  And we’re not messing around and giving them regular people’s names, either.  Instead, we’re giving them names of monstrous creatures from Greek mythology whose glance could turn a person to stone.

This is a good idea, when you think about it.  If you want people to bundle up against the approaching cold, telling them about winter storm “Ernie” probably isn’t going to do it.  But limiting winter storm names to terrible inhuman beings from Greek and Roman mythology is too limiting; given the regular appearance of bad winter storms, eventually we’re going to run out of names, just as has happened with naming celestial objects.

So I suggest sprinkling in some popular culture references, too.  Let’s start with the names of James Bond villains, Star Trek evildoers, and comic book and movie supervillains.  Oh, yes — we’d definitely pay attention to news about winter storm Draco, polar vortex Khan, snowstorm Ultron, or the approaching icy clutches of Megatron.

2 thoughts on “The Wrath Of Gorgon

  1. “Winter Storm Gorgon”? Whatever gave you the impression that the snow had a NAME?

    I used to watch TWC quite often, in part because I find meteorology rather fascinating, and I’ve learned a lot about how weather systems work at different times of the year. I would turn on TWC first thing in the morning for a clearheaded, dignified look at the WEATHER, and the weather ONLY.

    Then TWC was purchased by NBC/Universal, and things went into a nosedive. Suddenly it seemed like they were less concerned with weather, and more concerned with personalities and sensationalism. These days I’ll turn on TWC for “Local on the 8s,” and that’s about it. I cannot stand Al Roker’s relentless clowning and self-promotion. I can’t stomach the cheesy, contrived reality shows, the latest of which focuses on the “supernatural,” whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. There’s Sam Champion’s AMHQ, which says it’s “Not a morning forecast, but a morning SHOW!” So THERE!

    For me the very last straw was TWC’s shameless, pretentious practice of naming winter storms. One Facebook user posted THIS criticism: “Naming winter storms is the dumbest idea ever. Why hasn’t NWS or any other reputable weather reporting source joined in the naming? Oh, maybe they still feel their role is serious reporting – instead of sensationalizing, dramatizing and commericializing.” It’s pretty much how I have always felt.

    TWC’s Tom Niziol attempted to deflect the criticism: “One reason we’re doing this, simply put, is we can. We cover weather on a national scale. By ascribing a name to a weather system that’s gonna create those types of impacts, we can follow it right across the country.”

    THAT’S their answer? “We do it because we CAN”?? And the only way the personalities at TWC can keep their eye on a weather system is to give it some kind of cute name? That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. But HEY, if a private cable channel like TWC can start naming winter storms just because they CAN, maybe every other channel should start doing the same. Maybe Fox News can start naming winter storms after political figures they particularly despise.


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