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Winter Storm Hitler

[ 155 ] February 8, 2013 |

So as you may know, the Weather Channel decided to start naming winter storms this year. The only reason for this is to ratchet up the panic and increase ratings. Unlike hurricanes, which are named by a government agency, the Weather Channel just names whatever storm whatever it wants. Never mind that a storm that drops 6 inches of snow in North Dakota is a very different beast than a storm that snarls the entire existence of 40 million people in the Northeast.

So it’s really ridiculous, as MAWeatherBoy explains.

In my view, we shouldn’t name winter storms ahead of time. We should name them after the fact, perhaps giving them the names of horrible dictators, depending on how much the storm sucked.

There is an exception though and that’s this monster of a storm coming to the Northeast this weekend. The 18 inches of snow or whatnot, whatever. I’m irritated because it means I can’t see my wife this weekend. And it means I am going to be stuck in my apartment for the next 48 hours, turning very rapidly into Jack Nicholson in The Shining. No outside and no other people make Erik go crazy.

But really, I am so done with winter. December, January, it’s all good. But February is a horrible month. Any storm that gets in the way of seeing my wife for the first time in 3 weeks is pure evil. And thus forget the stupid Weather Channel names. I declare thee Winter Storm Hitler.


Comments (155)

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  1. McAllen says:

    December, January, it’s all good. But February is a horrible month.

    *cue conservatives pretending to care about Black History Month just long enough to call Loomis a racist*

      • fogey says:

        Perhaps the only thing worse than being stuck there is trying to get there. I was suppose to fly into Boston tonight for the birth of some grandchildren. Now it looks like I will get to Boston on Tuesday night.

        Begin rant – I tried to book an earlier flight beginning on Tuesday night and continuing on Wednesday but the airline would not waive the costs and it was almost $500 more for a Thursday flight. When they finally decided to accommodate travelers on Thursday, instead of sending me an email or text it was announced on Twitter. I finally received a helpful text last night letting me know my flight was canceled and I would need to call to rebook.

  2. Leeds man says:

    “I am going to be stuck in my apartment for the next 48 hours”

    You don’t have snowshoes or skis? WTF?

  3. INotI says:

    A storm that only dropped 6 inches in North Dakota wouldn’t even be worth naming/remembering by North Dakota standards.

  4. max says:

    You don’t have to go outside to shovel snow? That’s actually the best time in winter around here – it’s *bright* outside.

    I declare thee Winter Storm Hitler.

    Wintergewitter would be better. The operation failed.
    [‘Fall Blau, Fall Gelb… German op names would be distinct without being massively ominous.’]

  5. Pseudonym says:

    You know who liked storms so much he named his troops Sturmtruppen? Adolf Hitler Kaiser Wilhelm II, that’s who.

    • Lurker says:

      I’m sure this was mentioned with tongue in cheek, but perhaps it would be prudent to clarify: German word Sturm means “assault” or “charge” in this context. The technical term means, at least in post-WWI German, the final part of the infantry attack: the part which the participating men run at full speed, firing from the hip towards the enemy position. Usually no more than 100 to 50 meters.

      As part of a longer word, Sturm originally referred to the WWI German troops which utilised modern infantry tactics of infiltrating enemy positions with the use ofcombined arms. In the German media, they were romanticized and the Nazis used the word in freely, mostly to associate their thugs with the heroic WWI infantry units.

  6. Manju says:

    There is an exception though…

    Winter Storm Strom is a good name for an exceptional one.

  7. Murc says:

    No outside and no other people make Erik go crazy.

    How people feel isolated when they have the internet is beyond me. Every meaningful relationship I’ve ever had that didn’t involve blood relatives started here.

  8. cpinva says:

    i’m still fascinated by the fact that not having seen your wife in 3 weeks has you upset. clearly, you haven’t been married long enough. :)

  9. Greco says:

    Man, that’s really going to ruin Carnival.

    Oh, wait.

  10. Greco says:

    No outside and no other people make Erik go crazy.


  11. Emma in Sydney says:

    Is it just me or is LGM’s banner seriously fucked up on an iPad? I see black and white photos of Military Prisoners Under Guard on both top and bottom of the banner.

    Oh and sucks to be the northern hemisphere this time of year. I was swimming in a good surf at 6.30 pm this evening. Delicious.

  12. Timb says:

    See, Erik, that’s why people in Indiana don’t care about global warming/climate change. It was 60 here yesterday and today it is supposed to rain for goodness sake. Torrential in winter? That’s what happens on the subcontinent during “winter.”

    So, Hoosiers and Buckeyes, et. Al, continue to ignore climate change, knowing our home values will go up when all the upstate rich people and Connecticut exurbanites move here to escape the hordes of New Yorkers and Bostonians moving inland and hoping that winter lasts only two months

  13. Tnap01 says:

    This is a really bad storm but you’re only naming it Hitler, how bad do you expect Winter storm Jimmy Carter to be?

  14. Ken says:

    Fimbulwinter Storm Hitler, surely?

  15. Manta says:

    Wouldn’t Stalin be a better name for a winter storm?

  16. J.W. Hamner says:

    I’m sitting in JFK after a 6 am flight from Boston hoping this storm doesn’t keep me from going to Costa Rica. 91 degrees there though.

  17. c u n d gulag says:

    I’m wid ya, brudder!
    I’m ok with December and January, but I hates me some February!!!

    And not only because I turn a year older in early March.

    It’s usually bitterly cold here in Upstate NY (but not as cold as it used to be), and snowy (ditto), and you can hardly wait for it to end, since turning the calendar to March, means Spring is coming.

    The only things that February has going for it, are the Super Bowl (which used to be in January), and pitchers and catchers reporting, with Spring Training finally getting under way.

    And, whose bright feckin’ idea was it, in leap years, to add a day to feckin’ February?
    And, on feckin’ Presidential Election years, no less – adding one more day of primarying for candidates – in the most hated month.

    Why not give us that day in April, June, or even September?

    I know it doesn’t make any difference – but psychologically speaking, I’d much rather extend April, June, or September.

    Why February, the coldest and ugliest month?
    To mock us?
    It had to have been someone from the Sourthern Hemisphere who thought adding a day every four years to February was a good idea.

    • rea says:

      It was Julius Caesar and his homocidal maniac nephew who gave us a short February, moving one day to July and another to August, so that the months named after them would be tied for the longest. So, don’t complain about a 29-day February every 4 years–if it weren’t for Roman egotism, February would be 30 days every year, except when it was 31. And also, who the heck moved New Year’s Day to January? It used to be March 1 (hence September, October, November and December), and a big party at the end of February would serve a big need . . .

      • The Dark Avenger says:

        History records no significant contribution by a nephew of Julius Caesar to the calendar or anything else, for that matter.

      • c u n d gulag says:

        And people call ME ‘a repository of arcane and largely useless knowledge?’

        I’m clearly not worthy! :-)

        Love ya!

      • Lurker says:

        I think you should blame old Numa Pompilius (or, perhaps the decemviri, who ruled during the interregnum after him) for introducing January and February. After all, it might be useful not to have any dates during winter at all. Only two months (or so) of snowy time without timekeeping.

        The beginning of the year political should be blamed on the Roman Senate and People, who decided in 154 BC that the consuls should enter office on 1st January. The first onse to do this was Q. Fulvius Nobilior, and his unknown coconsul.

      • STH says:

        Yeah, I’ve been agitating for some good late winter holidays for a while now. President’s Day? Meh. Most people don’t even get a day off for that. Valentine’s Day? Yuck. I hate it, most people I know hate it (I think florists and restaurant owners are the ones who really like it). Mardi Gras has some potential, but not enough people celebrate it outside LA.

        The next party I have to look forward to is the local randonneurs kicking off their season the first Friday in March, and middle-aged male geeks who think it’s fun to spend 36 straight hours all alone on a bike . . . well, they’re great guys (including my partner), but not a real party hard sort of group.

      • Sly says:

        Sextilis had 31 days before it became August, and Februarius had 28 days long before the Julia came to power. Actually, the revisions to how leap years were calculated increased the average length of the month; prior to 45 BC, it could have as few as 23 days, with a “leap month” called Mercedonius added after a truncated Februarius.

        It’s the shortest month precisely because it was the last month added to the pre-Julian calendar that carried over into the Julian calendar. And it was the last month because the Romans needed a place to insert extra days (or a whole month) to keep the calendar consistent with the growing seasons, and thought that winter was the best time to do that.

    • DrDick says:

      February is not that bad. After all, my birthday is at the beginning of the month. While there was a period that I dreaded them, I am now at an age where I celebrate surviving another year.

  18. Major Kong says:

    Stormpocalypse? Stormageddon? Stormzilla?

  19. Sherm says:

    I had to wait twenty minutes for gas last night because the paranoid people of long island can’t tell the difference between a hurricane and a snow storm. Yeah, we could lose power with heavy snow and sixty mph winds, but it won’t be widespread and it won’t be for weeks. And wtf is up with the bread and milk hording? How much milk can a family drink in a day? I’m confident that milk will be available when we venture back out on Saturday. Damn it people, it’s a storm, have some fun. Load up on nachos ingredients and beer and hunker down in front of a good movie, or least a mediocre one.

    • actor212 says:

      Sherm, I’ve been in plenty of blizzards in the NYC area. Let me tell you: a blizzard that hits on a Friday night guarantees no deliveries until at least Monday afternoon, and more likely Tuesday morning.

      So you’re talking nearly five days, the better part of a week, before fresh milk and bread hit the shelves.

    • TribalistMeathead says:

      Plus then you’ve got a whole lot of bread and milk you have to consume before it goes bad.

      The fear is that a) grocery stores won’t be open because of power outages or staff not being able to get there or b) they can open, but trucks can’t get there to deliver groceries. But even during the 2010 DC blizzard, I never had trouble getting to an open, well-stocked grocery store on foot.

  20. EliHawk says:

    Truly, we should call it a Class III Killstorm instead:

  21. dsn says:

    Winter storms only suck if they fail to deliver the promised amount of snow. Here’s hoping this one is awesome.

    Yes, I did grow up in Canada. What gave it away?

    • Uncle Kvetch says:

      Snow’s only fun in NYC while it’s falling, and for a couple of hours after that…it turns ugly very quickly.

      Unfortunately it looks like it’s going to rain all day here and then change to snow some time this evening. Frustrating — I have a view of Madison Square Park from my desk at work and I was looking forward to watching the world turn white over the course of the day.

      Oh, and nobody’s allowed to be sick of winter until Uncle’s had his last ski day of the season, and that isn’t until March 16. So suck it up, you ninnies.

  22. Uncle Kvetch says:

    I was looking forward to watching the world turn white


    [just getting that out of the way before the troll gets here]

  23. December, January, it’s all good. But February is a horrible month.

    Why do you think they made it the shortest?

    I like to walk into a room during a February snow storm, point out the window, and say in my best excited-kid voice, “Look everyone! It’s snowing! It’s snowing! Isn’t it magical!?”

    • Murc says:

      You get away with that? In New England, of all places?

      I’m surprised your body hasn’t been found in a lake yet.

      • Uncle Ebeneezer says:

        When I was a Bostonian child, it was March/April that really irked me. I’d be so ready for this “Spring” season that people in other parts of the country always talked about, and yet I’d quite often find myself still dealing with black-ice on the roads, nasty brown snow-drifts everywhere, puddles preventing any attempt to play basketball, tennis, baseball etc. Our Spring sports would start up and we’d find ourselves doing sprints for track in weather that was still only in the 40’s-50’s on the best days. We usually wouldn’t get any consistently pleasant weather until early-mid May. Course, now living in LA I miss having anything resembling actual weather.

        • Leeds man says:

          “Course, now living in LA I miss having anything resembling actual weather.”

          Yeah, I don’t get it. Decrepit as I am, and just finished shoveling for 2 hours (and two more to go), I wouldn’t give up the four seasons for a king’s ransom. Life without autumn and winter is no life at all.

          • Uncle Ebeneezer says:

            Yup. I miss Fall more than anything. If we get 3-5 hours away we can have a wee taste of Autumn up in the Sierras, but the trees are much different so it’s a bit different from Fall in New England. And it can be a pretty small window to try to cram in such a long trip. We do have nice Spring-like weather much of the year. Beautiful flowers everywhere etc., but no real Fall.

            • The Dark Avenger says:

              Yes, we really have no fall colors at all in California.

              • Uncle Ebeneezer says:

                There are pockets of places where leaves change in SoCal, here and there. But it’s a decidedly trivial amount compared to overwhelming amount you see everywhere in New England. As my Los Angeles native friend who went to visit Boston in late September noted “wow, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

                • Thanks for sharing says:

                  So that settles it then! SoCal and New England are different places with dissimilar flora… weather too! Who knew?

                • foliage says:

                  Westwood between National and Pico

                  I miss fall in the northeast as well but an actual winter is to high of a price to pay.

        • Thanks for sharing says:

          When I was a New Yorkian child it was umbrellas that really irked. When i was playing at hopscotch/tiddlyewinks/truth or dare I always scoffed at rainfall. (Isn’t my pet peeve listing fascinating?).

          Weather? … What a country!!%11…

  24. Crackity Jones says:

    It’s my birthday. I want to move to Australia so I can finally have a summer birthday.

    • Cody says:

      Plenty of warm places to live, I wouldn’t choose Australia. Giant spiders… giant bugs… giant bunnies (kangaroos?), and tons of fires!?

      Weren’t they in a middle of a massive drought too? It sounds like a place I need to avoid.

  25. Surreal American says:

    And it means I am going to be stuck in my apartment for the next 48 hours.

    You know who else had plans that were stymied by winter storms.

  26. Western Dave says:

    With the exception of the ice storm of 1973, I can’t remember a time when Long Island got shut down for snow. Now Detroit in 1999? That was some stranded. Of course, who would think that a city in Michigan wouldn’t have a snow plow budget?

    • DrDick says:

      If you want pure chaos, think Dallas after 1/2 inch of snow. you do not want to be anywhere near there.

      • STH says:

        My partner and I enjoy reading The Guardian online in the mornings and it’s always entertaining when the UK gets a little snow. The headlines are always something like “Travel Chaos as UK Slammed by Winter Storm,” then you read the article and find out the extent of the Snowpocalypse is 2 cm.

        Then, in the summer, the headlines are “Stifling Heat Hits UK,” and “Elderly in Danger From Heat,” and the article says it reached 80 F.

    • spencer says:

      Of course, who would think that a city in Michigan wouldn’t have a snow plow budget?

      Having grown up in Detroit, I can’t say that surprises me much at all. That city always managed to exceed my cynicism.

    • actor212 says:

      December 26, 2010 was the last time it happened

  27. FLRealist says:

    I miss the snow. Someone can send me some if they want. It’s in the mid 70s here in Orlando.

  28. ChrisTS says:

    Why must Erik stay in his apartment? Most of us want to go outside as soon as it starts snowing.

  29. mch says:

    April is the cruelest months.

  30. Patrick says:

    I think we should name all winter storms after Jim Cantore, the most famous Weather Channel reporter. They’d be numbered to separate them. (This would be “Winter Storm Jim Cantore 14”.) Maybe throw the year in there: “Winter Storm Jim Cantore 2013-14”.)

  31. dakota says:

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