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Why is the Weather Channel naming a future 2017-18 winter storm Colbert?

This was posted Thursday, March 16, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

CBS late night host Stephen Colbert on Wednesday night made fun of Atlanta-based Weather Channel's unilateral naming of winter storms. The current one that hit the East Coast was named Stella and Colbert mock-cut to Jim Cantore. Instead, he showed a clip from "A Streetcar Named Desire" of Marlon Brando yelling "Stella!"

"The Weather Channel has no authority to name anything," Colbert said. "I have as much authority to name things as they do ... I'm calling this storm Winter Storm Crazy Balls."

It was a quick one-off joke but the Weather Channel marketing department decided to give it a little extra juice by officially naming a 2017-18 winter storm Colbert in honor of the talk show host. Smartly, they were able to get him to talk about it last night.

When he announced the news, the crowd cheered: "This is real. I have always said it is so great that the Weather Channel does this. They should be part of the government. They are such an important part of our culture." [It was hard to tell if this was said in sincerity or mild jest.]

"Looking forward to next year. Please everybody, stay safe during Winter Storm Colbert!"

There has been controversy since 2012 over the Weather Channel's winter storm naming. The World Meteorological Organization names tropical storms and hurricanes but has refrained from naming winter storms.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.