Chiberia: Arctic Blast Produces a Bit of New Weather Lexicon

And a local meteorologist has gained some TV acclaim, too.

Ricky Castro. Credit: Fox 32 News Screen Shot
Ricky Castro. Credit: Fox 32 News Screen Shot

Did you hear the story behind our city’s new cold-weather nickname: Chiberia?

Well, it turns out there is a local connection.

Ricky Castro is a 29-year-old meteorologist with The National Weather Service. He was driving to work at the NWS office in Romeoville a week ago and trying to think of a way to describe the city’s recent extreme cold weather outbreak, according to a report on Fox 32 News.

He kept thinking of Siberia. Then, it dawned on him, “Chi-beria.” His term for the arctic blast quickly went viral on social media. And now he has gained TV acclaim as a neologist—one who creates new words.

Fox 32 News reports some other creative ways to describe the cold weather in our city also are making the rounds on Twitter with these hashtags: Wind-chillinois, IL-aska and Antarc-ditka.


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