Last year, The Weather Channel drew interest when it decided to begin naming winter storms, much as tropical storms and hurricanes are. So 2012-13 saw the likes of Winter Storm Orko and, notably, Nemo, talked about in the headlines and through social media. As the first national organization to name winter storms, The Weather Channel says it did so to make communications and information sharing easier, and to better alert residents to forecasts for storms that could significantly affect them. Given the success of the names helping people be aware of and discuss the storms last year, The Weather Channel has embarked on a second year of winter storm names.
“Our first year of naming storms proved that it worked, and we were thrilled with the result which was an ideal demonstration of the intersection of social media and television,” said Bryan Norcross, meteorologist and storm specialist at The Weather Channel. “The winter storm names enabled simpler and more focused communications around forecasts and preparedness information on The Weather Channel and in other media outlets, and during the big storms like Nemo, the names became a handy way for the public to receive and exchange information.”
The Weather Channel says that the winter storm names 2013-14 are derived from lists created by students at Bozeman High School in Bozeman, MT, as an assignment in Latin class, and come primarily from Greek and Roman mythology. Hopefully we won’t get around to using too many of them, but this year’s list is below, with descriptions and pronunciations from The Weather Channel.
The Weather Channel Winter Storm Names 2013-14
Atlas: From Greek mythology; on the losing side in the mythological war between the Titans and the Olympians, he was punished by Zeus by being forced to hold the sky on his shoulders.
Boreas: Greek god of the cold north wind.
Cleon: A Greek statesman and warrior.
Dion: Short for Dionysus; Greek god of wine and winemaking, among other things.
Electra: From Greek mythology; the princess of Argos.
Falco: Not the “Rock Me Amadeus” guy, but the Roman governor of Britannia (today Great Britain).
Gemini: From Greek mythology; two of the stars in the constellation Gemini are named for mythological twins, Castor and Pollux. Also, an air sign in astrology.
Hercules: From Greek mythology; the son of Zeus, famous for his strength.
Ion: From the Greek word meaning “going;” introduced into English in 1834.
Janus (JEY-nus): From Roman mythology; the god of beginnings and transitions. January was named for him.
Kronos (KROH-nus): From Greek mythology; the father of Zeus. His Roman name was Saturn.
Leon: The Greek word meaning “lion.”
Maximus: The Latin word for “greatest” or “largest.”
Nika (NEE-ka): From Greek mythology; the goddess who personified winning or victory.
Orion: From Greek mythology; a great hunter.
Pax: Latin word for “peace.”
Quintus (KWIN-tuss): A common first name for ancient Romans, including Cicero’s younger brother.
Rex: Latin word for “king.”
Seneca: Roman philosopher and writer.
Titan: From Greek mythology; one of the gods (the Titans) who ruled the Earth before the Olympians, led by Zeus, overthrew them.
Ulysses: The Roman name for the hero of Homer’s epic, “The Odyssey.”
Vulcan: From ancient Roman mythology; the god of fire.
Wiley: A nickname meaning “wily” or “tricky” in Middle English (Note: there is no W in Greek or Latin).
Xenia (ZEEN-ya): An ancient Greek word signifying the concept of hospitality.
Yona (YOH-na): A word used in ancient India to designate a Greek person (the Greek letter Upsilon looks like a Y, but is the ancestor of the English letter U; the letter Y was incorporated into the Latin alphabet after Rome conquered Greece, but it was used to write words from Greek).
Zephyr: From Greek mythology; the god of the west wind.