The aftermath of 2024's first significant winter storm has left Wyoming covered in snow and freezing cold. The wintery blast has wreaked havoc on travel plans, forcing hundreds of flights to be canceled and leaving travelers stranded. The brutal temps have set homeowners up for a painful heating bill this month. And, let's not forget all the shoveling, snow blowing, and de-icing we've had to do.

And it's all thanks to Gerri.

Who's Gerri, you may ask? If you're a 'Parks & Rec' fan like me, no doubt 'Jerry' Gergich - the bumbling, accident-prone comedic relief of the Pawnee Parks Department - came to mind.


Though Mr. Gergich played no role in dumping a blizzard on Wyoming, a similarly named storm named Gerri most certainly did.

Winter Storm Gerri Hammers Wyoming with Frigid Temps, Snow

Gerri debuted in the Northwest on January 10, sweeping across Oregon and Washington and creating dangerous conditions. For the first time in over a decade, the mountains of the Pacific Northwest were placed under a blizzard warning (Weather Channel.) He rampaged across Nevada and Arizona's ski resorts before arriving in Wyoming and Colorado.

Gerri's visit equivocate to an ice-cold tantrum of epic proportions. Wyoming dropped to -50 Fahrenheit (with wind chill) in some portions of the state. Blowing snow and frozen asphalt turned the highways and interstates into deadly ice rinks. The resulting snowfall wasn't quite Bombcyclone 2019 proportions, but the storm was impressive. Powerful enough that a name like 'Gerri' seems...well, underwhelming. Why not 'Caesar' or 'Thor'? Something that relates to the power of Mother Nature's fury?

You'll have to ask the Weather Channel.

Who Names Winter Storms?

Naming storms is nothing new. Hurricanes have received names from forecasters since the late 1800s, reports USA Today. But naming winter storms is a relatively new practice that began in 2012.

The first winter storms did receive an imposing name with Greco-Roman origins. 'Caesar' and 'Brutus' were some of the names designated to storms in 2012. But avoiding repetitive names is essential to distinguish storms for the historical record, so Winter Storm Caesar II won't be in the books any time soon.

Interestingly, until 1979, only women's names were used to name hurricanes. No such distinction is made with naming winter storms - names from all backgrounds and genders are up for grabs, provided the Weather Channel follows a few rules when selecting. Winter storm names must exclude any current Atlantic and eastern Pacific hurricane names on the National Hurricane Center lists for six years after their use. They can't use any retired hurricane names from particularly devastated storms like Hurricane Katrina.

The Weather Channel's 2023-2024 Winter Storm Names:

  • Archer
  • Bryson
  • Cait
  • Donovan
  • Ember
  • Finn
  • Gerri
  • Heather
  • Indigo
  • Jarvis
  • Kayden
  • Lorraine
  • Miguel
  • Noor
  • Orzelle
  • Preston
  • Qadir
  • Ronnie
  • Sawyer
  • Tormund (Like in 'Game of Thrones'???)
  • Unitas
  • Victoria
  • Winton
  • Xenops
  • Yoshino
  • Zyler

LOOK: Biggest Snowfalls Recorded in Wyoming History

Stacker compiled a list of the biggest 1-day snowfalls in Wyoming using data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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