Thursday, January 10, 2013


I see in today’s news that “Winter Storm Gandolf” will blow through a broad swath of the northern and central Rockies.  Gandolf.  Come on, they can’t even spell Gandalf correctly.

I am sad that a time-honored tradition has been rubbed-out by the National Weather Service.  Do you remember the “Big Blow of ‘62” or the "Two-Week Blizzard of ’53” or the “Deluge of ‘72”?  Those names conjure vivid images for those who experienced them - not just scientific facts but also one’s own experience and feelings.  “Winter Storm John” leaves one blankly staring.  The storm has become an abstract piece of data.  (“I hear that one of this year’s Winter Storms will be named Sandy.  Ho-hum.”)

Besides, why waste a name on a storm that may not materialize?  (Remember the “No-Blow of ’95”?)

January 10, 2013

 (*with thanks to my friend the Vicar of Dibley)

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