Winter Storm Gorgon Paralyzes DC

Capital Weather Gang (CWG)(Washington, DC — January 6, 2015) – January snowfall predictions in the nation’s capital can be wildly unpredictable. And as everyone knows, it only takes the threat of ¼” of snow to shut down the region.

Threatening 6″ of snow leaves most apoplectic.

Even though forecasting the weather isn’t an exact science, the National Weather Service (NWS), which is organizationally under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is organizationally under the Department of Commerce (DOC), is right about 50% of the time – though there’s only a 20% chance of that.

Department of Commerce

Department of Commerce

But at least they don’t come up with cutesy names for weather events. Thanks to the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang (CWG), the cutesy naming continues.

NOAA’s Winter Storm Gorgon – named ‘Snowpy New Year 2015’ by the CWG – was supposed to bring a dusting to 1″ of snow to the nation’s capital. Some suburbs might have seen up to 2″. The Federal government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) offered liberal leave. Local school systems closed – or offered delays and then changed their minds to being closed. And both NOAA and the CWG were wrong.

Very wrong.

The Winter Weather Advisory turned into a Winter Storm Warning before 10:00am, bumping up expected snowfall totals to 4″-6″. Those who braved the elements and endured commutes of hours instead of minutes found themselves trapped in their workplaces as Gorgon intensified.

Office of Personnel Management

Office of Personnel Management

“We’ve had reports of contingency plans regarding cannibalism,” said an OPM spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Employees at some agencies are drawing straws to see who gets eaten first. We want Federal agencies to know that the snow just isn’t that bad! Their employees should just go about doing their work. That’s something they can sink their teeth into.”

The weather forecasters offered insincere apologies for any inconvenience their inaccuracy might have caused.

“Our faux pas!” said a NOAA spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Snowpy New Year!” said a CWG spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Date CWG Name of Weather Event
February 2010 Snowmageddon
March 2013 Snowquester *
January 1, 2014 Snowpy New Year 2014
January 6, 2015 Snowpy New Year 2015
*Re-named the ‘Rainquester’ because the storm turned out to be a rain event.