The National Weather Service only names hurricanes, not winter storms, so the Weather Channel graciously stepped in last year, much to the annoyance of the NWS. The network began naming winter storm systems at the beginning of winter to raise awareness of the storms and to make it easier to follow a weather system’s progress, according to The Weather Channel’s website. Also, the network believes a named storm is easier to remember and to reference in communications.
Many of the names for 2012-2013 have Greek or Latin origins. TWC tends to prefer names with mythological or literary roots.
Here is the complete list of winter storm names: Athena, Brutus, Caesar, Draco, Euclid, Freyr, Gandolf, Helen, Iago, Jove, Khan, Luna, Magnus, Nemo, Orko, Plato, Q, Rocky, Saturn, Triton, Ukko, Virgil, Walda, Xerxes, Yogi, and Zeus.
2012/2013 Winter Storm Names and Meanings
The synchronicities, references and connections found in this list are fascinating!
Athena - In Greek religion and mythology, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and is the goddess of heroic endeavour. (Source: Wikipedia)
Brutus - Marcus Junius Brutus (85 BC – 42 BC), often referred to as Brutus, was a politician of the late Roman Republic. He is best known for taking a leading role in the assassination of Julius Caesar. (Source: Wikipedia)
Caesar - Gaius Julius Caesar (100 BC – 44 BC) was a Roman general, statesman, Consul and notable author of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. (Source: Wikipedia)
Draco – Draco is the Latin word for “dragon.”
Draco has many other meanings as well, including: a constellation in the northern part of the sky; a dwarf galaxy orbiting the Milky Way; a genus of gliding lizards; and an orbital maneuvering thruster being built for the SpaceX Dragon and upper stage of the Falcon 9 spacecraft. (Source: Wikipedia)
Euclid – Euclid, 300 BC, also known as Euclid of Alexandria, was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "Father of Geometry.”
Euclid may also refer to Euclid of Megara (c. 435-c. 365 BCE), a Greek Socratic philosopher who founded the Megarian school of philosophy. He was a pupil of Socrates in the late 5th century BCE, and was present at his death. He held the supreme good to be one, eternal and unchangeable, and denied the existence of anything contrary to the good. (Source: Wikipedia)
Freyr - Freyr is one of the most important gods of Norse paganism. Freyr was associated with sacral kingship, virility and prosperity, and with sunshine and fair weather. Freyr "bestows peace and pleasure on mortals.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Gandolf – Wikipedia does not have much to say about “Gandolf” but it has a lot to say about “Gandalf."
Gandalf is a Dvergr (Norse dwarf) in Norse mythology, appearing in the poem Völuspá, the Poetic Edda, and the Prose Edda. The name derives from the Old Norse words gandr (magic staff) and álfr (elf), thus a protective spirit who wields a magical wand. He is also the last king of the Elves.
Of course, Gandalf is also a fictional wizard in J. R. R. Tolkien's book The Lord of the Rings. (Source: Wikipedia)
Helen - In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy, also known as Helen of Sparta, was the daughter of Zeus and Leda (or Nemesis). Her abduction by Paris brought about the Trojan War. (Source: Wikipedia)
Iago - Iago is one of Shakespeare's most sinister villains, often considered such because of the unique trust that Othello places in him, which he betrays while maintaining his reputation of honesty and dedication. (Source: Wikipedia)
Jove - Jove (from the archaic Latin for "Father God") usually refers to the god Jupiter (mythology). In ancient Roman religion and myth, Jupiter or Jove is the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder. (Source: Wikipedia)
Khan – Khan is a title for a ruler in Turkic and Mongolian languages (also used by Persians, Punjabis, Afghans/Pashtuns for chiefs and noblemen). It now has many equivalent meanings such as commander, leader, or ruler. Khan can also refer to Genghis Khan (1162? – 1227), the founder and Great Khan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his demise. Khan may also refer to Khan Noonien Singh, a character from Star Trek, mostly featured in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. (Source: Wikipedia)
Luna - Luna is the Latin name for the Moon, Earth's only natural satellite. Luna is also a goddess. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Luna is the divine embodiment of the Moon. She is often presented as the female complement of the Sun (Sol) conceived of as a god. (Source: Wikipedia)
Magnus - Magnus means "Great" in Latin. The name “Magnus” was taken by many powerful people in the past and there are also many saints named Magnus. (Source: Wikipedia)
Nemo - The Weather Channel insists it has nothing to do with the Pixar fish. Or Jules Verne's submarine captain. Or Little Nemo, the dreaming adventurer. Instead, it's a Latin word meaning "no one" or "no man," according to Bryan Norcross, a Weather Channel meteorologist involved in selecting the names. For more uses of the name “Nemo,” visit Wikipedia.org.
Orko - Orko was a thunder god in ancient Basque mythology and other Iberian peoples. The name is derived from Orkeguna, the Basque word for Thursday. Orko is also a fictional character from the Masters of the Universe franchise. (Source: Wikipedia)
Plato – Plato (424/423 BC[ – 348/347 BC) was a philosopher in Classical Greece. He was also a mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens - the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science. (Source: Wikipedia)
Q – Obviously, this is an odd choice for the name of a winter storm or anything else. “Q” is perhaps best known as two fictional characters. Q is a character in the James Bond films and film novelizations. Q (standing for Quartermaster), like M, is a job title rather than a name. He is the head of Q Branch (or later Q Division), the fictional research and development division of the British Secret Service.
Q is also a fictional character in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, as well as in related products. The name "Q" also applies to all other individuals of the Q Continuum. Q is said to be omnipotent and is continually evasive regarding his motivations. His home, the Q Continuum, is accessible to the Q and their guests, and the true nature of it is said to be beyond the comprehension of "lesser beings" such as humans so it is only shown to humans in ways they can understand. (Source: Wikipedia).
Rocky - Rocky is a Christian name based on Saint Roch. Saint Roch or Rocco lived c.1348 - 1376/79 (traditionally c.1295 – 16 August 1327) and was a Christian saint - he is specially invoked against the plague. According to the doctoral thesis of history student Pierre Bolle in 2001, Saint Roch is a hagiographical doublet of a more ancient saint, Saint Racho of Autun who died about 660 AD. Racho was invoked for protection against storms and Bolle believes that his name was the basis of the name of this saint and of his patronage of plague-sufferers via a process of aphaeresis of the Old French word for a storm, ("tempeste") to "-peste" (plague). This also accords with equilibrium of humours theory of medieval medicine that held that illness could be caused by corruption of the air.
Of course, Rocky is more popularly known as Rocky Balboa, hero of the Rocky Balboa film series. (Source: Wikipedia)
Saturn – Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun in the Solar System, named after a Roman God. Saturn was a god in ancient Roman religion and a character in myth. Saturn is a complex figure because of his multiple associations and long history. He was the first god of the Capitol, known since the most ancient times as Saturnius Mons and was seen as a god of generation, dissolution, plenty, wealth, agriculture, periodical renewal, and liberation. In later developments he came to be also a god of time. His reign was depicted as a Golden Age of abundance and peace. (Source: Wikipedia)
Triton – Triton is a mythological Greek god, the messenger of the sea. He is the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, god and goddess of the sea respectively, and is herald for his father. He is usually represented as a merman, having the upper body of a human and the tail of a fish
Triton is also the largest moon of the planet Neptune, discovered on October 10, 1846, by English astronomer William Lassell. It is the only large moon in the Solar System with a retrograde orbit, which is an orbit in the opposite direction to its planet's rotation. Triton is one of the few moons in the Solar System known to be geologically active. As a consequence, its surface is relatively young, with a complex geological history revealed in intricate and mysterious cryovolcanic and tectonic terrains. (Source: Wikipedia)
Ukko - Ukko is the god of the sky, weather, harvest and thunder in Finnish mythology. The Finnish word for thunder, Ukkonen, is the diminutive form of the name Ukko. Ukko is held the most significant god of Finnish mythology. Ukko possessed a weapon, often a hammer, by which he struck lightning.
Virgil – Virgil and Vergil are the most common modern English names used for the Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro (70 BC–19 BC). Publius Vergilius Maro (70 BC – 19 BC). He is known for three major works - the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid. Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome's greatest poets. His Aeneid has been considered the national epic of ancient Rome from the time of its composition to the present day. Modeled after Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the Aeneid follows the Trojan refugee Aeneas as he struggles to fulfill his destiny and arrive on the shores of Italy—in Roman mythology the founding act of Rome. Virgil's work has had wide and deep influence on Western literature, most notably the Divine Comedy of Dante, in which Virgil appears as Dante's guide through hell and purgatory. (Source: Wikipedia)
Walda – The only reference to Walda at Wikipedia is the kings of Rohan from the fictional universe of Middle-earth by J. R. R. Tolkien. Walda was the twelfth King of Rohan. Walda had fought the Orcs which invaded Rohan during Brytta's reign, and at the time of his coronation it was believed Rohan had been freed of them. However, some Orcs remained, and Walda was killed by Orcs near Dunharrow. (Source: Wikipedia)
Xerxes – Xerxes is a male name. Most notably, it may refer to Xerxes I of Persia - also known as Xerxes the Great (519 BC-465 BC), he was the fourth king of the Achaemenid Empire. Xerxes is also a character in Brian Herbert's Legends of Dune universe and a character in Disney’s Aladdin. (Source: Wikipedia)
Yogi – A Yogi is a practitioner of Yoga. The word Yogi originally referred in the Classical Sanskrit of the Puranas specifically to a male practitioner of Yoga. In the same literature yoginī is the term used for female practitioners as well as divine goddesses and enlightened mothers, all revered as aspects of the Divine Mother Devi, without whom there would be no yogis. The two terms are still used today but the word Yogi is also generically used to refer to both male and female practitioners of yoga and related meditative practices in Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism etc.
Yogi may also refer to Yogi Berra, a baseball player named after a yogi and Yogi Bear, a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character named after Yogi Berra. (Source: Wikipedia)
Zeus – In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus is the "Father of Gods and men" who rules the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father rules the family. He is the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter. Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, and the youngest of his siblings. He is known for his erotic escapades. These resulted in many godly and heroic offspring. (Source: Wikipedia)