October 5, 2012
Criticism of The Weather Channel's criteria to name winter storms continued Thursday, when The Weather Channel did not name a winter storm, which was blasting Minnesota and North Dakota, "Athena".
The Weather Channel announced Tuesday that they plan to begin naming "noteworthy" winter storms in the 2012-2013 season.
The decision has led to an outpouring of comments and criticism on the web, and particularly on social media outlets.
After reviewing The Weather Channel's release in its entirety and taking into account all factors, Dr. Joel N. Myers, AccuWeather Founder and President, released the following statement:
"In unilaterally deciding to name winter storms, The Weather Channel has confused media spin with science and public safety. We have explored this issue for 20 years and have found that this is not good science and will mislead the public. Winter storms are very different from hurricanes.
Hurricanes are well-defined storms following a path that can be tracked. Winter storms are often erratic, affecting different areas unevenly. Their centers may not be well-defined. There may be multiple centers and they often shift. One area may get a blizzard, while places not too far away may experience rain or fog, or nothing at all. Naming a winter storm that may deliver such varied weather will create more confusion in the public and the emergency management community."
Other prominent industry agencies and professionals have begun weighing in on the issue, as well:
Official release from the National Weather Service:
The National Weather Service has no opinion about private weather enterprise products and services. 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.
Executive Director of the American Meteorological Society, Keith Seitter to AccuWeather.com:
"The short answer is we weren't aware of this at all. At least, I wasn't aware of this at all. I'm not sure if anyone else was. I didn't hear anything about it before I saw the news item on the weather channel naming winter storms," said Keith Seitter. "....Given that, certainly, the AMS as an organization doesn't have a position on this at all.
Meteorologist James Spann via Twitter:
"Needs to be coordinated with NWS and other private sector interests for sure."
Thumbnail image was tweeted by @PigsPutnam on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012.
The chilliest air of the season so far will settle over much of the Northeast Thursday into Friday and will bring frost to more areas than experienced frost early this week.
Tropical moisture from the approaching Odile will deliver another round of heavy rain and flooding downpours to the interior Southwest by the middle of this week.
The remnants of Odile have the potential to bring heavy rain and flooding to parts of the Plains and Midwest late this week after hitting the Southwest.
On Tuesday, Edouard became the first major hurricane in the Atlantic since Sandy. While the hurricane remains at sea, rough surf will reach some Atlantic coast beaches.
A raging wildfire, which erupted Monday afternoon, has damaged or destroyed more than 100 structures and has forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents in Northern California, near Weed.
On Sunday night, a fiery ball of light ignited across the darkened skies of the northeastern United States, illuminating the heavens in a momentary flash of eerie daylight.
Upper Plains (1881)
General snowfall across NW Iowa and southern Minnesota. A total of 6 inches in Stuart, IA.
San Felipe Hurricane struck Palm Beach 27.43 inches of rain, enormous damage -- floods on Lake Okeechobee, drowned 1,836; 1,870 injured as dikes around the lake caved in during hurricane.
Mid Atlantic (1933)
Carolina-Virginia Hurricane: 28.25 inches of rain, 76-mph winds at Cape Hatteras -- great wind damage in VA and MD. Twenty-one lives were lost; $1 million damage.