Just because a hashtag trends on Twitter doesn’t mean something’s real. Case in point: Despite what you may have heard, there is no Winter Storm Landon.
Yes, the Chicago region — along with a large swath of the U.S. — is currently getting hammered with snow. But the storm system producing the precipitation doesn’t have an official name, be it Landon or anything else, contrary to headlines popping up on media outlets across the country.
“NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the National Weather Service do not name winter storms or use private weather industry sector names for winter storms in official government forecasts and warnings,” Susan Buchanan, director of public affairs for the National Weather Service, told WTTW News.
So where did Landon come from?
The Weather Channel.
The channel started naming winter storms 10 years ago, creating an unofficial counterpart to the very much official convention of naming tropical storms, a process that is overseen by the World Meteorological Organization.
Borrowing another page from the hurricane/cyclone playbook, the channel develops an annual alphabetical list of prospective storm names, announcing the 2021-22 crop in December. Landon’s siblings include Bankston, Delphine, Oaklee, Willow and Xandy — “names used in the past that are now increasingly popular again,” according to the channel.
If the cable channel’s previous attempts to brand winter storms flew under the radar, something about “Landon” captured people’s attention, and they weren’t having it.
Wait, have we always named winter storms after random frat boys? #WinterStormLandon pic.twitter.com/0GkKFh0dmi
— Sam Russell (@the_sam_russell) February 2, 2022
Winter Storm Landon is going to dump a foot of snow on us while wearing Vineyard Vines and telling us his dad is a lawyer pic.twitter.com/g7AiS3L03E
— Barstool Cleveland (@BS_Cleveland) February 1, 2022
i don’t need names for my snowstorms. just give me a Snowmageddon or Snowpocalypse every 10 years and I’ll be fine.
— Matt Taege (@Taege) February 2, 2022
Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 | [email protected]