Major U.S. Winter Storms to get names

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:50 PM GMT on October 02, 2012

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October is here, and its time to start thinking about how the coming winter's storm might compare to mighty blizzards of years past. Do you remember the North American blizzard of February 4, 2010? No? Well, do you remember Snowmageddon, the massive February 2010 Nor'easter that dumped up to 38" of snow in the mid-Atlantic, and killed 41 people? The two storms are the same, but having a simple name for the snowstorm like "Snowmageddon" helps us identify and remember the impacts of the storm. Naming a major winter storm makes even more sense if it is done before the storm hits, to aid in raising awareness of the storm, and to reduce the risks the public faces. That's exactly what The Weather Channel is going to do for the U.S. this winter, they announced in a press release today. A group of senior meteorologists at The Weather Channel chose 26 names for the upcoming winter of 2012 - 2013. The only criteria was to select names that are not and have never been on any of the hurricane lists produced by the National Hurricane Center or National Weather Service. Naming of a winter storm will occur no earlier than three days prior to it hitting, to ensure there is strong confidence that the system could have significant impact on large populations. There is no national center for monitoring winter storms like we have for hurricanes with the National Hurricane Center, so I think it makes sense for The Weather Channel to take this step.


Figure 1. Snowmageddon in Maryland: February 4, 2010. Image credit: wunderphotographer chills.

U.S. winter storm names for winter of 2012 - 2013
Athena -- The Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspirations, justice, mathematics and all things wonderful

Brutus -- Roman Senator and best known assassin of Julius
Caesar -- Title used by Roman and Byzantine Emperors 

Draco -- The first legislator of Athens in Ancient
Euclid -- A mathematician in Ancient Greece, the Father of Geometry
Freyr -- A Norse god associated with fair weather, among other things

Gandolf -- A character in a 1896 fantasy novel in a pseudo-medieval countryside

Helen – In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy was the daughter of Zeus

Iago -- Enemy of Othello in Shakespeare’s play, Othello

Jove -- The English name for Jupiter, the Roman god of light and sky.

Kahn -- Mongolian conqueror and emperor of the Mongol Empire

Luna -- The divine embodiment of the moon in Roman mythology

Magnus -- The Father of Europe, Charlemagne the Great, in Latin: Carolus Magnus 

Nemo -- A Greek boy’s name meaning “from the valley”, means “nobody” in Latin 

Orko -- The thunder god in Basque mythology

Plato -- Greek philosopher and mathematician, who was named by his wrestling coach

Q -- The Broadway Express subway line in New York City

Rocky -- A single mountain in the Rockies

Saturn -- Roman god of time, among other things who had a planet named after him

Triton -- In Greek mythology, the messenger of the deep sea, son of Poseidon

Ukko -- In Finnish mythology, the god of the sky and weather

Virgil -- One of ancient Rome’s greatest poets

Walda -- Name from Old German meaning “ruler”

Xerxes -- The fourth king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Xerxes the Great

Yogi -- People who do yoga

Zeus -- In Greek mythology, the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus and the gods who lived there

I expect that this year The Weather Channel will be pretty conservative about assigning names, and only the very strongest winter storms will get named. For the eastern 2/3 of the country, storms that receive a ranking of "notable" or higher on NOAA's Regional Snowfall Index (RSI) or Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS) are the only ones fairly certain to get named this winter. We only had one such storm during the winter of 2011 - 2012 (Snowtober, on October 29 - 31, 2011.) Thus, if we have another wimpy winter like last winter, we probably won't get to see the Wrath of Khan.

Naming of Winter Storms in Europe
Various organizations in Europe have been naming their winter storms since 1954, and the public has reacted positively to this practice. The names given by the Free University of Berlin are the most widely used, and have been in existence since 1954. Their meteorologists traditionally name all lows and highs that influence the Central European weather. In November 2002, the Free University began an Adopt-a-Vortex scheme, which allows anyone to buy a storm name. The money raised is used by the meteorology department to maintain weather observations at the university. Over 1,800 participants from 15 European countries plus Brazil, Japan and the United States have participated. So far in 2012, 90 European low pressure systems have been given names.


Figure 2. A huge wave from Winter Storm Klaus rolls into Santander, Spain, in this wunderphoto taken by wunderphotographer lunada on January 24, 2009. Klaus had a central pressure of 967 mb at its peak on the morning of January 24, and brought sustained winds of 59 mph, gusting to 81 mph, to Santander. Wind gusts as high as 124 mph (199 km/hr) occurred along the northern coast of Spain, and the storm killed at least 26 people in Spain, France, and Italy.

Naming of Lake Effect Winter Storms by NWS Buffalo
Tom Niziol, The Weather Channel's winter storm expert, was meteorologist-in-charge of the Buffalo, New York NWS office until January 2012. He tells me that for over ten years, the Buffalo NWS has been naming lake-effect storms. This was done only after the event occurred, to avoid any confusion, but was very popular with users. The names were chosen on a yearly basis by having the office staff vote for one of several themes--such as insects, heavenly bodies, famous scientists, minerals, Native American tribes, etc. Last winter, eight storms were named after breeds of cows (?!), as seen at the NWS Buffalo Lake Effect web page. I was not asked to contribute to this year's list of U.S. winter storms, but will lobby for next year's list of names to be taken from famous monsters--Rodan, Ghidorah, Nessie, Kong, Bunnicula, etc.


Figure 3. The most significant lake-effect snow storm of the winter of 2011 - 2012 was named Lake Effect Storm Evolene by the NWS office in Buffalo, New York. Image credit: NWS Buffalo Lake Effect web page.

Nadine
The Methuselah of Atlantic tropical storms, Tropical Storm Nadine, is slowly weakening over cool 22 - 24°C waters. Nadine will have accumulated 20 days as a tropical cyclone later today, but the end is in sight. Wind shear will rise to 30 knots and ocean temperatures will drop to 20°C by Thursday, which should cause Nadine to transition to an extratropical storm as it passes by the northern Azores Islands on Thursday and Friday.

96L off the coast of Africa no threat to land
A tropical wave that emerged off the coast of Africa over the weekend (Invest 96L) has a moderate amount of spin and a large area of heavy thunderstorms that is growing more organized. The storm is located about 925 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, and is headed northwest at 10 - 15 mph. Wind shear is a moderate 10 knots, and is predicted to remain light to moderate, 5 - 15 knots, through Friday. The atmosphere surrounding 96L is fairly moist, and the disturbance does have a good degree of model support for becoming a tropical depression by late in the week. In their 8 am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 96L a 70% chance of becoming a tropical depression by Thursday morning. 96L is likely to get pulled northwards by a large trough of low pressure over the Central Atlantic late this week, and should not be a threat to the Lesser Antilles Islands.

Jeff Masters

Hubby Tries to Clear the Snow. (Proserpina)
Hubby tried to use the snow-blower to clear the snow, unfortunately for him the snow is too deep for the snow-blower. The shovel and his arms will have to do the job.
Hubby Tries to Clear the Snow.
Blizzard 2010 (TonyInDC)
Blizzard  2010

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401. CosmicEvents
1:15 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting angelafritz:


We blog about all major weather events here on Jeff's blog. You can check out all of his blog posts (categorized!) here. You can see, there are quite a few topics.
That's a great link.
Thank you Angela.
Here's an old humorous blog from Jeff in 2010 that I think is a good one. Enjoy. Link
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5582
400. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
1:15 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting Skyepony:


Who came up with snowmeggadon? & all these other names we've been calling them?.. Atleast this list has 1/2 decent names on it..


That's been my first response to all my meteorology friends who didn't like it. Pop culture has been naming them for years now! Why not make it official? :)
399. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
1:14 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
Angela some people think this is just another marketing strategy for TWC.What do you think on this subject?


When I first heard the idea I was indifferent. When I started to realize how beneficial it might be for 1) public awareness and 2) post-storm documentation, it really grew on me. Like I said, I know they're not trying to categorize storms, so letting it be subjective doesn't bother me.

Also, just because TWC names a storm doesn't mean the rest of the media or NWS have to refer to it that way. It's just a TWC thing.

In general, do I think naming winter storms is a good idea? Yes. Europe has been naming ALL lows and highs that "impact Europe's weather" for years, and the response has been good.
398. pottery
1:13 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
To marketers it does..

True, that.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24311
397. Skyepony (Mod)
1:13 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
Angela some people think this is just another marketing strategy for TWC.What do you think on this subject?


Who came up with snowmeggadon? & all these other names we've been calling them?.. Atleast this list has 1/2 decent names on it..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
396. washingtonian115
1:12 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting pottery:

That really doesn't matter, one way or t'other.
To marketers it does..
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
395. pottery
1:11 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting angelafritz:


No, I dont think every year (just like TC names aren't rolled over every year, but they're rolled over).

OK, thanks.

So we can have a storm repeat, (like a TC) and for clarity we will have to say "Nemo 2014. Or was that 2016?? I can't remember"
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24311
394. pottery
1:08 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
Angela some people think this is just another marketing strategy for TWC.What do you think on this subject?

That really doesn't matter, one way or t'other.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24311
393. Dragod66
1:08 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
now what about them large storms that have caused so many tornado outbreaks? Will they be next?
Member Since: August 24, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 612
392. Slamguitar
1:08 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting pottery:

The above list of names will be rolled over every year?


They'll probably have a new list next year.
Member Since: July 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1183
391. pottery
1:07 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
Well Pottery they have several naming list for T.C's :).They still retire storms.Like suppose the winter storm named "Nemo" comes and brings real bad weather to millions of people including me.I sure wouldn't want to hear another storm named Nemo..

I agree.
But I thought that the idea was to easily ID a particular storm.
If you retire a name, I assume it is because it can come up again.
Based on Dr. Master's 'list' above, I got the feeling names for the coming winter are shown, with names for winter 2013-2014 still to be decided (different names)

Can you clear this up, ANGELA ?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24311
390. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
1:07 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting pottery:

The above list of names will be rolled over every year?


No, I dont think every year (just like TC names aren't rolled over every year, but they're rolled over).
389. washingtonian115
1:06 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Angela some people think this is just another marketing strategy for TWC.What do you think on this subject?
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
388. GTcooliebai
1:05 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
I just think the whole naming process for winter storms will be too subjective. Tropical systems have a set criteria. Winter storms don't. I like using storm names to refer to storms to minimize confusion, but I just don't see how this is going to work.

With that said my numbers for this winter are 9-5-3 :)
So 9 Winter Storms, 5 Blizzards, and 3 Major Blizzards? :P
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
387. Astrometeor
1:05 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Hey everyone.

Two tornadoes CONFIRMED by the NWS today near where I live: Tornadoes

Otherwise, I think it will be interesting to say the names of a winter storm.

"Tonight, we have continuing coverage on Brutus who is murdering the Northeast tonight."
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 100 Comments: 10277
386. wxchaser97
1:04 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


The problems with the sattelites is what is causing 96L to not have a SSD floater right?

I think that is correct or we would've seen a floater by now.

Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Maybe no renumber before 11 PM if they go with SSD dvorak.

03/0000 UTC 13.8N 38.7W T1.5/1.5 96L -- Atlantic

With 96L I think it should be a TD in the next 12ish hours.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
385. washingtonian115
1:03 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting pottery:

I would imagine they would come up with a different list of names each year.
No retirement needed.
Well Pottery they have several naming list for T.C's :).They still retire storms.Like suppose the winter storm named "Nemo" comes and brings real bad weather to millions of people including me.I sure wouldn't want to hear another storm named Nemo..
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
384. pottery
1:02 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
The list says "US winter storm names for winter 2012-2013"
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24311
383. MAweatherboy1
1:02 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
I just think the whole naming process for winter storms will be too subjective. Tropical systems have a set criteria. Winter storms don't. I like using storm names to refer to storms to minimize confusion, but I just don't see how this is going to work.

With that said my numbers for this winter are 9-5-3 :)
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7781
382. pottery
1:01 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting angelafritz:


I didn't read it anywhere today but this is the plan, last I heard.

The above list of names will be rolled over every year?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24311
381. pottery
12:59 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
I wonder if the storm is bad enough they'll retire it?.I didn't see nothing on this.

I would imagine they would come up with a different list of names each year.
No retirement needed.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24311
380. yqt1001
12:59 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
I didn't make it clear enough :).Western European names.


I think getting some Russian names into the list would really enhance the scariness.

ALLOCHKA
BOLESLAVA
(no C in Russian)
DUNYASHA
EVPRAKSIYA
FYODOR
GRUSHA
(no H)
(take about any I name in the last decade, as Isidore, Igor, Ivan etc are all Russian)
JEKATERINA
KSENIYA
LIDOCHKA
MOISEY
NIKODIM
OXANA
PROKOPY
(no Q)
ROSTISLAV
SYUZANNA
TIMUR
USTINYA
VYACHESLAV
(no W)
(no X)
YEVPRAKSIYA
ZHANNOCHKA

^ There next year's naming list :P
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1286
379. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
12:58 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
I wonder if the storm is bad enough they'll retire it?.I didn't see nothing on this.


I didn't read it anywhere today but this is the plan, last I heard.
378. washingtonian115
12:58 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
I wonder if the storm is bad enough they'll retire it?.I didn't see nothing on this.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
377. Tropicsweatherpr
12:55 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
00z Best Track for 96L.

AL, 96, 2012100300, , BEST, 0, 144N, 393W, 30, 1008, LO
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14256
376. mobal
12:54 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
LOL, yes I would think you would.

Quoting angelafritz:


They might, still. Who knows. TWC naming storms doesn't disallow NWS to do the same. I'd imagine if NWS decides it's a good idea, we would use their convention.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 482 Comments: 5332
375. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
12:54 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting CrazyDuke:
Since the major factor with winter storms is usually the frozen precipitation, perhaps name a winter storm with a minimum of a band of 3 inches of snow, .3 inches of freezing rain, or .6 inches of sleet per hour sustained for at least a set amount of time. You could give it a simple categorization based on the max sustained precipitation per hour or you could come up with some kind of rating based on a combination of factors. Basically copy the tropical classification model but base it on the amount of frozen precipitation instead.


I don't think they're trying to categorize storms. They want to be able to refer to them easily. Naming them is especially helpful to talk about the storm after it's happened. Remember that storm in 1995 that knocked out power to half of the midwest? It would be easier with a name. We here at Wunderground can also do pretty great storm recap pages with a naming system.

Giving the system thresholds would be totally arbitrary. Take last year's ice storm in Atlanta. We only got half an inch of ice. That was HUGE for us. It shut the city down for 3+ days. If it would have happened in Minnesota, it would have been a speck on the radar.

Winter storms are entirely subjective. TWC isn't trying to rate or rank storms, it's just going to put a name to them so we can talk about it easier, and we can remember it after it happened.
374. Thing342
12:51 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Nadine's ACE of 25+ is the highest anywhere in the Atlantic since Igor.
Member Since: August 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 436
373. weatherbro
12:50 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting Jedkins01:
The cold front is about to clear through the Tampa Bay area tonight, it better stall soon and begin to lift quickly back north or else the wet forecast advertised days in advanced will be a dud. I will be upset as I have been hoping for quite a bit of rain. However I haven't had much confidence in the wet forecast though. The last front to stall was expected to be quite a drencher, and it too never really did do much more than scattered showers for a couple days. It's not over yet though, what happens over night into tomorrow morning will prove whether the rainy pattern truly materializes or not.


The reason might be the atmosphere over Florida often stabilizes quite a bit in the fall, which is the reason for a drop off in the rainy season, even if atmospheric moisture remains high. After an active rain season, it's common for the atmosphere to struggle into conditional instability or beyond for a while until the cooler season arrives.


Looks like the current HPC map pushes that front through by Friday(Link). But regardless, big changes are in store next week as the Bermuda Ridge gets pushed east and weakens! An intense east conus trough is poised to set the stage for gorgeous Florida Fall weather(not to worry, as we've had plenty of rain to dent the drought)!!!

I say bring it on!!!
Member Since: May 26, 2007 Posts: 47 Comments: 1291
372. Skyepony (Mod)
12:50 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


The problems with the sattelites is the cause that 96L doesn't have a SSD floater right?


Yes, we don't have a working sat parked over the Atlantic right now.

The polar sats can correctly place the storms when they pass but to try & do it off GOES-14 makes it look more east than it is, & more so, the more east it is.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
371. washingtonian115
12:50 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting yqt1001:


Last I checked, Greek is European. :P
I didn't make it clear enough :).Western European names.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
370. yqt1001
12:47 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
About the naming list ew why Greek names?.I would love to see some Italian,Native american,Hispanic names and European based names.I can't take a winter storm named "Q" serious enough..


Last I checked, Greek is European. :P

Anyone else thinking they'll name every low this winter and exhaust the list in the first month.
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1286
369. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:47 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting TomTaylor:
First you accuse Neapolitan of misquoting you, when his quote actually captured the theme of your post just fine, then you personally attack him. I would suggest that in the future you directly respond to the contents of the post you are quoting, rather than switch to ad hominems to distract from the topic on hand; however, unlike you, I'm not going to tell people how to post on a public forum. With that, I bid thee g'day.

Lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32033
368. washingtonian115
12:46 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
About the naming list ew why Greek names?.I would love to see some Italian,Native american,Hispanic names and western European based names.I can't take a winter storm named "Q" serious enough..
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
367. avthunder
12:45 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting atl134:
So about these names... is it safe to predict that Nemo will be a fish storm?
Yep. And Klaus will show up for Christmas.
Member Since: August 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 336
366. CrazyDuke
12:45 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Since the major factor with winter storms is usually the frozen precipitation, perhaps name a winter storm with a minimum of a band of 3 inches of snow, .3 inches of freezing rain, or .6 inches of sleet per hour sustained for at least a set amount of time. You could give it a simple categorization based on the max sustained precipitation per hour or you could come up with some kind of rating based on a combination of factors. Basically copy the tropical classification model but base it on the amount of frozen precipitation instead.
Member Since: February 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 140
365. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
12:45 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting LargoFl:
a group question if i may...now that they are naming winter storms on WC..will the doc now have the topic of this site tropical storms in summer and Winter storms in Winter??...seems like a great idea to me...I for one will always cover the gulf/Florida weather thru the year when i can..how about YOU folks?


We blog about all major weather events here on Jeff's blog. You can check out all of his blog posts (categorized!) here. You can see, there are quite a few topics.
364. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:42 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Nadine remains a 50-kt cyclone.

Its ACE will surpass 25 units at 11pm EDT.

AL, 14, 2012100300, , BEST, 0, 344N, 361W, 50, 996, TS, 50, NEQ, 20, 40, 30, 20, 1018, 225, 20, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, NADINE, M,
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32033
363. pottery
12:40 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting plutorising:
now that someone's talking about the hidden comments, i find that i'm logged in (duh) but can't manage to change the filter to show all. it says show average, and then when i change it, it bounces back.

but that's an improvement, because i didn't think there was any rhyme or reason to the comments i have to click on to see.

That happens to me sometimes....
The only way I have fixed it is to
change to 'show all' then very quickly log out.

When I come back on, it's OK.

A pain in the earlobe.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24311
362. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist (Admin)
12:40 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
comment about TWC move article in the Washington Post...
I think he's right...the NWS should take this into matter and not TWC


They might, still. Who knows. TWC naming storms doesn't disallow NWS to do the same. I'd imagine if NWS decides it's a good idea, we would use their convention.
361. Tropicsweatherpr
12:39 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Maybe no renumber before 11 PM if they go with SSD dvorak.

03/0000 UTC 13.8N 38.7W T1.5/1.5 96L -- Atlantic
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14256
360. Tropicsweatherpr
12:38 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting Skyepony:
That windsat of 96L from a polar sat really shows how much the view from GOES-14 is skewed on location.


The problems with the sattelites is the cause that 96L doesn't have a SSD floater right?
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14256
359. pottery
12:37 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting Slamguitar:
96L looking better than ever!


I was hoping for some rain today from the cloud that keeps approaching from the east.
Just seems to peter out as it gets close.

96L might bring some, but then again.....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24311
358. CaribBoy
12:36 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting HuracanTaino:
It could be, but most likely follows future Oscar, and the road that has been made in late August and September for storms to recurve before 50W...


Damn road
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6168
357. CaicosRetiredSailor
12:36 AM GMT on October 03, 2012


 UT Austin: Over 12 percent of all U.S. energy consumption is directly related to water
By David Wogan | October 2, 2012 |  

A new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin has estimated the energy embedded in the U.S. water system. Kelly Sanders, a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering at UT Austin, compiled and allocated energy consumption for various water-related activities in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. The study, “Evaluating the energy consumed for water use in the United States”, appears in the September issue of Environmental Research Letters.

...
UT Austin researchers have identified how much energy is embedded in the U.S. water system.

“Although we’ve been saying for years that there is a lot of energy embedded in water, we really didn’t have a number to back that up. We wanted to know whether “a lot” was 5% of annual energy use? 10%? 15%? As it turns out ~13% is a lot,” Kelly Sanders explained in an email.

The study also identifies an interesting policy issue: roughly 25% more energy is used to heat, cool, or pump water than is used for lighting (in the residential and commercial sectors) in the United States – about 5 quads. So why are more efficiency policies and technologies targeted towards lighting and not water conservation? Walk in to any Home Depot or Lowe’s and you’ll see displays advertising the benefits of more efficient lighting.

...
Part of the issue, I think, is water pricing. Water is insanely cheap (at least in the United States), and conservation efforts like low flow showerheads only reduce revenue for those who make money by selling water. Saving water might be a good thing practically, but a utility generally sees its job as selling more, not less, or its product (like water). At least for some electric utilities, energy efficiency measures can be rationalized in terms of avoided kilowatts – eventually summing up to an avoided (and costly) power plant. What is the corollary for a water utility? As long as there is water in the reservoir, why not sell as much as possible? And if water is cheap for the end user, why spend money on conservation efforts?

...
Water efficiency policy (which is also energy efficiency policy) needs to catch up with the reality that water resources are limited and becoming harder to come by, and that a significant amount of energy is used for water.

 http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/ 2012/10/02/ut-austin-over-12-percent-of-all-u-s-en ergy-consumption-is-directly-related-to-water/
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6032
356. Skyepony (Mod)
12:33 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting whitewabit:
What is happening to all of our weather satellites? Are they just getting old and failing?


I think OSCAT is a European one & it's too young to die. I have hope they'll get it back. The scatterometers seem more finicky.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
355. washingtonian115
12:29 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Well if Oscar does form from 96L looks like it'll ruin the run of males becoming hurricanes.Oh well every good thing must come to and end.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
354. HuracanTaino
12:29 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
Quoting unknowncomic:
Disturbance at 20W 8N that could make it to the Caribbean.

It could be, but most likely follows future Oscar, and the road that has been made in late August and September for storms to recurve before 50W...
Member Since: May 31, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 863
353. Skyepony (Mod)
12:28 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
That windsat of 96L from a polar sat really shows how much the view from GOES-14 is skewed on location.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
352. whitewabit (Mod)
12:28 AM GMT on October 03, 2012
What is happening to all of our weather satellites? Are they just getting old and failing?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 362 Comments: 31392

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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