The Weather Channel Decides Not to Name a Winter Storm for Stephen Colbert After All

Was it a joke all along?

There won't be a Winter Storm Colbert this year.
Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

The Weather Channel released its annual winter storm names for the 2017 to 2018 season this past Thursday, but Stephen Colbert didn’t make the list.

You might recall that Colbert had a little fun last year at The Weather Channel’s expense when it came to its process of naming winter storms. “The Weather Channel has no authority to name anything,” he quipped. “They are not part of the government. In fact, I have as much authority to name things as they do.”

We covered The Weather Channel’s response to Colbert’s original comments back in March. That’s when the network vowed to name their third winter storm of the 2017 to 2018 season “Colbert.”

The late-night comedian seemed pleased and relayed the news back to his audience in the clip below.

But as you can see in the screenshot of the names released this week, the 2017 to 2018 season’s third storm is named “Chloe,” not “Colbert.”

Was it a joke? Was Colbert in on it? Or did The Weather Channel just change course?

“Severe weather events year round present a considerable risk to life and property,” a Weather Channel spokesperson told us. “We want to ensure that the focus stays on important information everyone in the path of each storm needs so they can take adequate precautions ahead of storms’ impact.”

This season’s storms are once again derived from some of the trendiest baby names of 2017: Mateo, Kalani, Aiden and Polly. Other 2017 to 2018 winter storm names include Jaxon, Oliver, Xanto and Toby.

This is the sixth year that The Weather Channel has named winter storms to better communicate information and safety warnings around these weather events. Names can also help convey information in an easy-to-use format that allows meteorologists and residents to share critical weather updates in a timely and organized fashion.

“As winter storms increase in impact and severity, it is all the more important to have an easy system to alert residents to forecasts and warnings, providing potentially life-saving information,” said Tom Niziol, winter weather expert for The Weather Channel said in a statement. “Last year, Winter Storm Jupiter dealt Portland, Oregon its heaviest snowstorm in 22 years, while Winter Storm Niko brought severe snow and blizzard conditions to much of the Northeast. We’ll do whatever it takes to ensure those threatened by snow, ice, and freezing temperatures get the facts they need quickly and easily.”