I guess “draco” is the word for “dragon” in Latin. I didn’t know that, despite Mrs. Marino spending two years teaching me the language in high school. (We got to choose our own Latin names; I chose “Aesculapius,” because I was a dork.) (“Was.”)

Draco is also the name for the giant winter storm dropping snow over the Midwest. See if you can spot it on this map. If you know where the Midwest is, it should be easy.

This is good news, for a reason that you might not expect: It’s precipitation in a region desiccated by drought. As we mentioned last week, cities across the region have been setting new records for days without snow. A lot of those records are about to end.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

From Weather Underground:

Blizzard warnings are posted over portions of Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and snowfall amounts of up to a foot are expected in some of the affected regions. While the heavy snow will create dangerous travel conditions, the .5″ – 1.5″ of melted water equivalent from the the storm will provide welcome moisture for drought-parched areas of the Midwest. Though much of the moisture will stay locked up as snow for the rest of the year, runoff from the storm may help keep Lake Michigan and Huron from setting an all-time record low for the month of December, and may also keep the Mississippi River at St. Louis above the -5′ stage though the end of December.

That Mississippi River point is big; it has been at risk of having to halt shipping traffic due to low water levels. The storm also means that some areas may see a white Christmas, if the snow sticks around. (This latter point is less important than the Mississippi River.)

Draco’s wintry breath isn’t being felt everywhere. Washington, D.C., has been 7.5 degrees above normal on average so far this month. In Texas?

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Lubbock, in west Texas, had a storm of its own.

So Draco is the exception for this warm, dry month. But none of that is the point of this article. The point of this article is: If you were going to name a potentially massive, powerful storm something, why on Earth would you choose Draco over Drago?