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Winter Storm Athena: Why We Named It
Tom Niziol for weather.com
Nov 7, 2012, 0:31 PM EST

The Winter Storm Team has named the current nor’easter Winter Storm Athena based on the following potential impacts:


Impacts: Up to six inches of snowfall combined with winds gusting over 35 mph at times across portions of Eastern Pennsylvania and interior New Jersey, which is still undergoing extensive recovery efforts from Sandy. There is the outside chance of snowfall totals approaching the 10-inch range if precipitation changes over to snowfall earlier. The combination of snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected for Interior New England Wednesday evening and overnight. The main reason for naming the storm is due to additional post-Sandy impacts.

Location: Extreme eastern Pennsylvania including the Philadelphia Metro Area, New Jersey, southeastern New York and interior New England. New York City and Boston will only see a mix of rain and wet snow at this point.

Time Frame: Wednesday afternoon through Thursday mid-morning.

Other Information: Once again, I want to reiterate that without Sandy, we may not have named this storm. However, one of our main reasons for naming events is societal impact. With so many people still under recovery efforts -- even well inland -- the combination of heavy, wet snow and wind prompted the decision to name this storm. The decision to name was based on a trend in models toward a colder pattern with additional snowfall along the Northeast Coast.


Winter Storm Athena? National Weather Service tells its forecasters not to use The Weather Channel's name for storm
By Rob Manker, Chicago Tribune reporter
2:15 p.m. CST, November 7, 2012

The weather people are fighting again.


After The Weather Channel last week declined to ascribe the name "Athena" to the winter weather activity associated with Hurricane Sandy, TWC today announced that it is officially launching its winter-storm naming plan with the nor'easter hitting much of the same region that bore Sandy's brunt.

Thus far, TWC appears to be the only outlet referring to the nor'easter as "Winter Storm Athena," the first in a string of monikers the channel announced last month that it would assign to winter storms that meet its criteria for naming: an event that involves snow and ice and/or extreme temperatures or wind; that significantly affects travel; and that the network thinks people need to know about.

But shortly after The Weather Channel trotted out the Athena name this morning, the National Weather Service office in Bohemia, N.Y., circulated an internal direction to staff not to use that term.

"TWC has named the nor'easter Athena," said the memo, which a weather service spokeswoman confirmed. "The NWS does not use name winter storms in our products. Please refrain from using the term Athena in any of our products."

That position is in line with a public statement the National Weather Service issued at the time The Weather Channel first announced the naming plan, a statement the weather service sent again today.

"The National Weather Service has no opinion about private weather enterprise products and services," the statement said. "A winter storm's impact can vary from one location to another, and storms can weaken and redevelop, making it difficult to define where one ends and another begins. While the National Weather Service does not name winter storms, we do rate major winter storms after the fact."

The nor'easter prompted the evacuation of nursing homes and low-lying areas in New York and New Jersey today, and led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights as it dropped snow on the storm-ravaged Northeast. More than 600,000 businesses and residences were still without power due to Sandy, the superstorm that killed at least 120 people in the U.S. and Canada.

rmanker@tribune.com
Twitter: @RobManker
Copyright © 2012, Chicago Tribune

You can check out the names of the proposed storm names here at weather.com Everything boils down to that there will be a Winter Storm Gandolf, so it gets notable points for geek factor.

Source: Chicago Tribune
Source: The Weather Channel
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