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.
An end to the dreary and cool weather around Harrisburg will come later this week.
Summer heat to set the stage for thunderstorms from England to France and Germany on Friday and Saturday.
Following a southward push of cool, dry air at midweek, clouds, showers and higher humidity will return to the Northeast.
Even though the tremendous rains have come and gone, flooding will continue on the major rivers in the South Central states for the next couple of weeks.
Another round of storms will fire across the central Plains at midweek with the chance for isolated tornadoes.
An end to the April-like cool and dreary weather putting umbrellas and jackets to use around Philadelphia will come later this week.
Thunderstorms in northwestern Kansas produced up to 18 inches of hail near Salden during the early evening. Crops were completely destroyed and total damage from the storm was nearly 500,000 dollars. Temperature dropped from near 80 degrees before the storm to 38 degrees at the height of the storm.
Cloudburst near Pikes Peak killed 120 people; Pueblo, CO, flooded by 25-foot crest of Arkansas River.
Violent thunderstorms and tornadoes; 13 confirmed tornadoes in western PA (most from any outbreak). Widespread wind damage in eastern PA. Wind gusts of 80 mph at ABE and RDG. One person killed in Philadelphia by a falling tree. Largest tornado outbreak in 35 years in western PA.