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.