What’s A Crazy Ivan?

A Crazy Ivan is a west-moving storm, shower, etc.

It’s “crazy” because most storms move east.

This is not (yet) an official weather term. We made it up.

We got the idea for calling west-moving weather a “Crazy Ivan” from The Hunt for Red October — a great Tom Clancy book and an almost-as-good movie, starring Sean Connery and thin/young Alec Baldwin.

Here’s the trailer. The payoff is at the 1:59 mark.

Here is the movie reference:

Seaman Jones: Conn, sonar! Crazy Ivan!

Capt. Bart Mancuso: All stop! Quick quiet!

[the ships engines are shut down completely]

Beaumont: What’s goin’ on?

Seaman Jones: Russian captains sometime turn suddenly to see if anyone’s behind them. We call it “Crazy Ivan.” The only thing you can do is go dead. Shut everything down and make like a hole in the water.

Beaumont: So what’s the catch?

Seaman Jones: The catch is, a boat this big doesn’t exactly stop on a dime… and if we’re too close, we’ll drift right into the back of him.

If you want to get technical about it, the analogy to the movie is not perfect. It only kinda words technically. The Urban Dictionary defines “Crazy Ivan” as:

1. In the book and movie “The Hunt for Red October,” a sharp turn made by a Russian submarine to look behind it with sonar. 2. By analogy, any quick, unexpected and radical change in direction, literally or metaphorically.
1. She’s pulling a Crazy Ivan! All stop! 2. They’re out of tickets. Crazy Ivan–let’s go to the bar.

So, technically, a Crazy Ivan should mean a storm that makes a sharp turn. But, for our weather purposes, we take a more generalized view of it: a Crazy Ivan is a storm or other weather feature that’s simply going the “wrong” way, from <-<-east-to-west–|.

Crazy Ivan is also a band (with fans) that covers My Sharona. Proof: