A Storm Called Nemo: What’s Behind The Weather Channel’s Names for Winter Storms?

Feb 8, 2013  •  Post A Comment

The winter storm pounding the Northeastern states has been given the name "Nemo" by The Weather Channel, but the meteorologist behind the names explains that it’s not named after the movie with the adorable fish, reports The New York Times’ Media Decoder.

The inspiration for the name is Captain Nemo, from the Jules Verne book "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."

"Captain Nemo was a pretty tough, fierce guy,” said Bryan Norcross, the meteorologist for the cable network who has helped create the names for the storms.

The Weather Channel notes that Nemo is also a Greek boy’s name meaning "from the valley," and that it also means "nobody" in Latin.

Airlines, media outlets and governors’ offices are going along with The Weather Channel’s names, even though the National Weather Service has advised its forecasters against using the names, the story notes.

So far, the network has come up with, well, rather geeky names for its storms, including "Euclid," "Gandolf," "Khan" and "Luna."

It’s no coincidence, according to WBEZ.org.

“Meteorologists tend to be — what would you call it — ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Lord of the Rings’ enthusiasts,” Norcross said. "We thought about a bunch of ‘Star Trek’ names. But we didn’t want words that were hard to say or funny to read. It was a trial-and-error process.”

For Superman fans, The Weather Channel almost named the "J" storm "Jor-El," after Superman’s father. In the end, the network decided to stay away from names that would cause copyright issues. Draco (this year’s "D" storm), for example, is Harry Potter’s antagonistic classmate, but is also “the first legislator of Athens in Ancient Greece," the story notes.

The “J” storm eventually became Jove — “The English name for Jupiter, the Roman god of light and sky,” according to The Weather Channel.

2 Comments

  1. ATTENTION TV A$$HOLES! NOT EVERYTHING NEEDS A SNAPPY NAME! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “SUPERSTORM SANDY.” IT IS “HURRICANE SANDY.” PLEASE JUST REPORT THE FACTS AND GET THE FU( OUT OF THE WAY YOU POMPUS PRICKS.

  2. I guess that this is the result of the continuation of the “reality” junk on TV today. Fits in nicely with the facebook crowd.
    SHEESH~~~

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