An Unnamed Threat No More!

Snowstorms usually squat on a few states before evaporating in the glint of winter sunshine. As if on snowy steroids, these frosty freaks have grown exponentially in recent years. While plodding along and dumping tons of snow, they have buried the country, transforming highways into hockey rinks and cars into pucks. White-out blizzards and sub-zero temperatures have frightened the red liquid in thermometers into hiding in their spherical basements. They have often left a death toll in their vicious icy wake.

Joe in the snow

Joe is protecting his sound equipment from Draco while on location.

My brother Joe McCartan is a sound technician. A few weeks ago, he was summoned into the jaws of icy death by The Weather Channel as another massive monster pounded Wisconsin. He found out this was no ordinary snowstorm, it was Draco! …cue diabolical music…

“Wait what?

We are all familiar with Irene and Sandy, named for a hurricane and a super storm. The aftermath of those girls will be talked about for decades maybe even millennia to come. In an attempt to keep track of winter storms, The Weather Channel stepped up and named them for 2012-2013.


Athena – Among other things, she is the Greek god of civilization, law and justice. Athena was the first dreaded monster who nipped the heels of Super Storm Sandy.

Brutus – From the Roman Empire or the Canadian band. Either way, he rocked the Northern Rocky Mountains.

Caesar – A Roman Dictator credited with the rise of the Roman Empire. He marched across several Midwestern states and Colorado where snow totals reigned supreme.

Draco – A constellation in the Northern sky. Also means dragon. My brother saw his frosty breath while Winter Storm Draco trudged across the Midwest and then flew on ragged wings into the Northeast and parts of Canada.

Euclid – A Greek mathematician.  What? Specifically geometry. Okay, since we are talking about the storms growing larger in mathematical terms, I’ll accept that. Also means good glory as in, “Good Glory Herb! Did you see the size of that storm?” He spawned 32 tornadoes in six southern states and set a record, of course.

Freyr – The Norse god of fair weather. Fair? Really? This storm began in Ohio and reached his icy fingers into the nether-regions of 16 states including Maine!

Gandolf – Check out the spelling! It is a character in the William Morris fantasy called The Well at the World’s End written in 1896.  This wintry wizard created blizzard conditions in Montana, Idaho, North Dakota and Colorado, and threw down 46 inches of the white stuff in Utah.

Helen – From Greek Mythology. Her abduction caused the Trojan War.  She began her rampage in Texas and mucked it all the way up the Eastern Seaboard to freakin’ Maine!

Iago – A character in Shakespeare’s Othello. He is a dastardly villain who hates Othello and sets out to ruin his life. Winter Storm Iago did just that when he pummeled parts of Mississippi and Alabama along with six other states.

Many suffered the wrath of Jove the thunder-god, Khan the Mongolian, and the moon goddess Luna which have all struck recently.

waiting for a storm

That is the list of winter storms so far. Did you notice they are a little heavy on guy’s names? God’s dominate the list, but where the heck did Q come from? According to their definitions, (see last link) it’s a New York Subway!

I wonder what names they will choose for the 2013-2014 season. The name Susie should at least be considered.

In the meantime, Magnus could be a droplet of water in cloud over the Pacific right now. He will become the next monstrous beast to bring a wintry blast. I am hoping that one of the remaining storms squats on Colorado and brings much-needed snow to the Northern Mountains and moisture to Boulder County.

We interrupt this blog post to give you breaking news. 

It’s snowing!

What do you think of naming Winter Storms?

What names would you add?

Related articles:

Why We Name Winter Storms

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel’s list of names and origins

Winter Storm Chart from – you guessed it – The Weather Channel

77 thoughts on “An Unnamed Threat No More!

Add yours

  1. I’m laughing too hard to name the winter storms. You’s have to go through the alphabet at least twice, possibly more to name all the winter storms in this country. I loved the gods’ names. Highly appropriate. Q is weird. I too associate it with the subway. There must be a Latin name associated with Q. Someone wasn’t thinking. I can’t. I’m laughing too much.


    1. I am so glad I made you giggle! I looked up the definitions in Wikipedia, linked all of them and then found The Weather Channel’s list. I was so surprised at Q! Seems pretty random… 🙂


  2. I’m not holding my breath on any Darla storm coming this way any time soon. It’s too bad they didn’t name the horrible ice storm of 1998 we had up here in Maine. But then not even a name like Magnus would do it justice.


  3. Q was an omnipotent character in Star Trek – The Next Generation and he would pop-in from time-to-time and wreak havoc on the crew of The Enterprise. Maybe some Trekkie got to name that one?


  4. Q was James Bond’s boss, but that doesn’t figure unless it is because he/she looks coldly at the underlings.
    They definitely need to include Gorgon, Medusa or Basilisk – the ones who freeze you with one look!


  5. I really do believe that there should be a hurricaine “Susie”…, named for the “wild ride” !!!!! I think that calls for a vote….., anyone out there concur??


  6. Ok, I get they went from A to Z, but WTF is with the Q? What about Quenton (Tarantino who makes kick-ass movies full of violence), or Quint (the kick-ass fisherman who took on Jaws)?? Either of those names would surely work.

    I feel so sorry for your borther in that photo. Brrrrr. He earned his money that day.


  7. The reason you are not getting that much is that all the Colorado lows head up north to ONtario. We can actually personally thank you for each storm we have had. Yesterday snow up to 15 cm. and there is an ice storm heading our way now. Thank You Susie.. and love your brother..:)


    1. Thanks Linda! What have I been doing wrong? I been dancing for snow for weeks now and it keeps going in your direction. Maybe I should let Mother Nature take a turn….We did get about 5 cms last night. Better than nothing!
      And that coyote was howling big time at 1:00….


    1. Hahahaha! That is the best! I bet you are right.

      “Yep. It’s almost done except for Q. Wait. I’ve got another call.

      I’m back. Yep It’s all done. Emailing it as we speak.” 🙂


  8. I laughed the first time I saw that list! “Q”? Is that from some spy movie? Is it really one of those “which doesn’t belong” groups from Sesame Street?
    Maybe it was just brain freeze thinking?
    You picture out the window fits perfect.
    Enjoy waving the come hither fingers instead of the fist at the clouds!


    1. You know me so well! “Come hither clouds!”
      Q is on the Weather Channel’s list as a subway. I think it is a joke. Don’t you?
      That’s exactly what I thought of too – “One of these things is not like the other, One of these things just doesn’t belong…..”
      Thanks so much for stopping by to read!


  9. Really nice window shot, Susie. So you’d like a winter storm named after you? Somehow I picture you as more suited to have a tornado named after you, because you seem like you’re so high energy. But I could see why maybe you wouldn’t want a tornado named after you, since they can be so deadly and destructive.

    What do I think about naming winter storms? Well, I’ve been calling New England winter storms names for many years. But I won’t repeat any of those names here, because you couldn’t print those names in a family newspaper. Lol 🙂 I don’t mind snow, as long as I don’t have to drive in it, or shovel it, but since I do, I’m not a big fan of snow. But I love to ski, both alpine and cross country, and it used to be that New Hampshire got all the big snow, so if we wanted to ski, we could just head for Northern NH, and not have to deal with the headache of driving around in a ton of snow here in Boston.

    But that weather pattern changed big time a couple years ago, when NH got very little snow, and Boston got buried like we were flippin’ Greenland!!! You REALLY wouldn’t want to hear the names I was calling those winter storms, cause they’d make a sailor blush! Lol


    1. Hahaha! Great to “see” you Chris.
      I can just imagine! (*&*#@!$ &^^%^$%$!!!
      I grew up in the snowy state of Wisconsin and learned to drive in all kinds of winter conditions, so it never bothers me. We have been in a severe drought and our Northern Mountain reservoirs are empty, so the snow we are getting will help.
      Naming tornadoes? I am down for that!
      Thanks Chris!


      1. Thank YOU for the warm welcome, Susie! 🙂 Wisconsin, huh? Yeah, that’s REAL snow country, and definitely makes any snow here in Boston seem like just a dusting in comparison. I do okay with driving in the snow for the most part, even though I don’t like it much. But that has to do with some bad memories from when I was 17 and trying to drive my 1967 Mustang in the snow around here, since Mustangs of that model and year, were one of the all time worst snow cars ever.

        Most of the weight of my Mustang was towards the front of the car, with very little weight in the rear – which just isn’t a good thing when the car has rear wheel drive, and your rear wheels don’t have enough weight over them to not spin, slip and slide all over icy and snowy roads. A drunken elephant trying to perform ballet would probably be more sure footed, than a 67 Mustang driving in the snow.

        300 lbs of sandbags in the trunk helped, but not really enough, and every drive in that car on ice and snow was always an adventure. And a little too thrilling at times, like when I did triple 360 spins on a road one night, and just missed an oncoming car and a large tree. And enough on that subject…

        Hope you get all the snow you want, and if I could arrange for it, I’d give you all our snow supply here, for the entire winter, but I don’t think I’ve got the kind of influence needed to make that happen. I was trying to come up with a quip about you being a natural for having a tornado named after you, because with your dancing ability, you must play an awesome game of twister! But that joke wasn’t really happening, so I let it slide, and sorry about my over expanding word count here again. I’ll try again next time to get it right, by writing a lot less… Sigh!


  10. They have to name winter storms so that people can curse under their breath about that gosh-darned Winter Storm Rufus, or Mega-Blizzard Beulah while they frantically empty the grocery stores of bread, milk and eggs. I don’t know what desire people have when storms are coming, but it seems to be related to making French toast.


  11. I”m glad someone finally mentioned Q from Next Generation – definitely wreaking havoc and worth naming a storm after. Sly, manipulative, come-at-you-sideways kind of storm. I think most people would think of Q from James Bond, tho (who was always a man until Judi Dench), but a subway??? I love your interrupted phone call scenario.

    Also, talking about naming one Susie, and then the comments on Q just lead to one awesomesauce name: Susie Q!

    For me, I think naming winter storms is … meh. I realize they’ve gotten worse in some areas, but come on – they cause accidents and massive inconvenience, but they don’t take whole towns or coastlines out!


    1. True! My criticism is they give them names too frequently. They will definitely run out of them at the rate they are going.
      Susie Q. I LOVE it! Hahaha! The subway is a mystery to me. When Lame Adventures stops by from NYC, she’ll put her two cents in!
      Thanks Jennifer!


  12. I would add the following names: Guy storms? Hmmm…. “The Rock”, “A-Rod” and “Meatloaf”. Also, I would cull old detective shows so we’d have “Baretta”, “Starsky”, “Hutch” and “Columbo”. For the gals? “Roxie” and “Susie” top the list.


    1. Love your names, especially the last two! Hahaha! Wasn’t Q ridiculous? I think Magnus is hitting our mountains right now. 10 today and 1-2 feet on Thursday!
      The local forecasters have yet to use the proper names….
      Thanks for stopping by!


    1. Hahaha! I just mentioned you! I thought you would have the answer as to why they included a subway. I can understand the other characters named Q, but a freakin’ subway????
      I thought it went through a gnarly part of town or something really nasty took place somewhere on the line.
      LOVE WTF! I think it should be a shoe-in!


      1. A crazy woman pushed a guy in front of the 7 train at the end of December and an F-student in anger management pushed another guy in front of an N train earlier that month. Gee, other possible names for storms could be “crazy” or “loon”.


  13. This has been the lightest winter for snow in Illinois I’ve ever experienced. It has been raining for 2 days straight – rain! In Illinois…in January! I think they’re calling this downpour “Ernie”.


  14. Those guys from The Weather Channel are just envious sops. They’re so jealous of the NHC baptizing any bunch of clouds that sprouts from Africa and may be headed their way. They just want to add drama to the winter season, which cannot be compared to our Hurricane Season. LOL!


  15. I always wondered about the names. The 2012-2013 list sounds pretty intense … well other than Nemo, Walda, Luna, and Yogi. They don’t sound as fierce as Draco. They sound like pet names 🙂


  16. I hope for Joe’s sake, they don’t go much past D!
    I think they should name them like horses, then do the forecasting the same way”
    And coming down the coast, Franks Furters is overtaking Eddie’s new toy. In the Atlantic Gorgeous Geordie is spinning faster. And at the finish, it’s Eddie New Toy…by a flake!


    1. A flake is right! Hahaha! You are hilarious! I don’t know what letter they are up to this week, but I gotta believe they are going to run out of names at the rate they are going! They were up to M when I wrote this and it is only the beginning of February!
      Thanks Guapo!


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