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It’s common practice for the United States’ National Hurricane Centre to give storms common names, but not cold fronts. Cape Town seems to think that this should change.
As Wednesday’s #MotherOfAllStorms draws ever closer towards South Africa, Cape Town believes that the weather system should be named after the premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille.
Alert: An extreme storm is coming tonght and tomorrow across WCape. I will post regular updates. Pls prepare for v strong wind and rain.
— Helen Zille (@helenzille) June 6, 2017
After the above tweet was posted, #StormHelen began trending across South Africa around 4pm Tuesday, just as the first clouds began to appear on the city’s horizon.
#StormHelen is what some users on Twitter want to name Cape Town’s winter storm
The below tweet started it all, receiving around 60 retweets and just under 100 likes in two hours.
— Theo the Ninja™ (@Yung_TheoLogySA) June 6, 2017
And as Twitter does so often, the hashtag began to spread.
— Uyanda Sila (@UYAC) June 6, 2017
— jay (@jtkeays) June 6, 2017
Is the storm srsly called #StormHelen or are Cape Townians just trolling?
— Eliza Doeslittle (@kirti_betabound) June 6, 2017
— Ninomona (@amanda_mpedi) June 6, 2017
— Mzansi Magician (@Lebza_M) June 6, 2017
— AirNamibia (@MySkyAirNamibia) June 6, 2017
— Yashani D (@Ashley_Dorothy) June 6, 2017
For those wondering, no, the storm is not officially named Storm Helen. But try telling Twitter that.
Additionally, the last recorded named storm to lash South Africa was Tropical Cyclone Dineo, which hit Limpopo in February.
Cape Town’s winter storm coverage:
The name “Helen” has however been used to name tropical storms in the past. The name was used in both 2008 and 2013 for cyclones that struck Darwin, Australia, and the eastern coastline of India respectively.