It’s not a hurricane, so how did ‘Leon’ get a name?

Published 6:08 pm Tuesday, January 28, 2014

So you, too were surprised that the winter storm interrupting your life right now has a name?

Yep, most of us were.

The storm is called Leon, and it got that name from the Weather Channel, which adopted the practice of naming storms for one reason: it makes them easier to talk about.

The Weather Channel first named a storm in 2011, when it informally used the name “Snowtober” for a 2011 Halloween nor’easter. In Novmber 2012, TWC began systematically naming winter storms, and will only name storms that are “disruptive” to people.

“Leon” comes from a list the channel created this year with the help of high school students from Bozeman, MT, who focused their choices on names from Greek mythology. It refers to the Greek word for lion — probably the Nemean Lion, a totally awesome invulnerable lion killed by Herakles (we, like the Romans, usually call him Hercules).