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.
Remnants of thunderstorms on the High Plains from Wednesday will re-fire farther east over the Mississippi Valley Thursday into Thursday night.
Building code changes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy are raising rebuilding costs for homeowners and other property owners while still attempting to mitigate future damages.
A cold storm will bring rain and snow to California Friday and Saturday, but heat returns again next week.
Following a cooldown at midweek for Cleveland, temperatures will remain below normal through the weekend.
A dangerous multiple-day severe weather outbreak will begin this weekend over the South Central states and will include the potential for nighttime tornadoes in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
Bismarck, ND (1962)
91 degrees -- heat wave in the Plains.
Mathis, TX (1990)
A stationary thunderstorm dumped about 8" of rain in two hours at a grain elevator just west of town.
Caldwell, TX (1990)
13.4" of rain in the span of 3 hours.