First Hurricane Sandy, now Winter Storm Athena for the Eastern U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:57 PM GMT on November 07, 2012

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Winter Storm Warnings are up for Southwest New Jersey, Northern Delaware, and Southeast Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, PA, where Winter Storm Athena is expected to drop 3 - 5" of snow today through Thursday morning. Slushy accumulations of up to 1" are likely in Baltimore, and non-accumulating snow will fall as far south as Washington, DC. Athena, the season's first Nor'easter and first winter storm to get a name under The Weather Channel's new naming system, is spreading rain and high winds into Southern New Jersey and Eastern Long Island, NY this morning. Winds at buoy 44025, about 40 miles offshore from the coast of Central New Jersey, reached 40 mph, gusting to 49 mph, with a significant wave height of 14', at noon EST. Winds at Nantucket, MA have gusted as high as 54 mph this morning. Athena is building a storm surge that has already reached 2.2' at Atlantic City and 1.8' at New York City as of noon EST. A storm surge of 2 - 3.5' is likely along the section of coast most heavily damaged by Sandy's storm surge, and battering waves up to 20' high will cause moderate beach erosion along much of the New Jersey and New York shoreline. The storm surge will cause minor to moderate flooding during this afternoon's high tide cycle near 1 pm EST, and again at the next high tide, near 1 am EST Thursday morning. Fortunately, the high tides this week will be some of the lowest of the month, since we are midway between the new moon and full moon. Wind gusts from Athena will likely reach 50 mph along the coasts of New Jersey and Southern Long Island, NY, and could hit 60 mph on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I expect that Athena's winds, rains, and wet, heavy snows will cause up to 50,000 new power outages today. As of early Wednesday morning, 676,000 customers were still without power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy (down from a peak of 8.5 million customers.)


Figure 1. Winter Storm Athena as seen at 9:01 am EST November 7, 2012. Image credit: NOAA/GSFC.


Figure 2. Predicted storm surge at Sandy Hook, NJ, for Winter Storm Athena, from the experimental Extratropical Storm Surge model, run by NOAA's Meteorological Development Laboratory. This model used winds from this morning's 6Z (1 am EDT) run of the GFS model. The peak storm surge (yellowish-brown line) is predicted to be 3.4', occurring Wednesday evening. High tide (green line) occurs near 1 pm Wednesday afternoon, resulting in a peak storm tide of approximately 7.2' around 1 pm Wednesday (black line). For comparison, Sandy delivered a 8.6' storm surge to Sandy Hook before their tide gauge failed, with the storm tide reaching 13.2' above MLLW (Mean Lower Low Water.)

The decision to name Athena
The Weather Channel announced in October that they would begin naming winter storms this year, in an effort to aid in raising awareness and reduce the risks the public faces. One of the main criteria for naming a storm is its impact on populated areas; the meteorology of the storm may not get it named, if the storm doesn't affect a populated area. If Hurricane Sandy had not devastated the region of coast being affected by today's Winter Storm Athena, it may not have gotten a name. With so many people still under recovery efforts even well inland, the combination of heavy, wet snow and wind prompted the decision to name Athena. The models have been trending towards more cold air getting pulled into this system, so it is possible Athena could drop heavier snows than currently advertised. The National Weather Service will not be referring to today's Nor'easter as "Athena". They put out this internal directive: "The NWS does not use named winter storms in our products. Please refrain from using the term Athena in any of our products."

Here are the peak wind gusts from Athena as of 11 am EST on Wednesday, November 7, 2012:



Jeff Masters

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MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 2106
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1155 AM CST WED NOV 07 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...PARTS OF THE TRI-STATE AREA OF CT/NY/NJ

CONCERNING...HEAVY SNOW

VALID 071755Z - 072100Z

SUMMARY...A BAND OF MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY SNOW SHOULD PERSIST
THROUGH ABOUT 20-21Z WITH RATES APPROACHING 1 IN/HR. OTHERWISE...A
BROADER TRANSITION TO SNOW IS EXPECTED WITH RATES NOT EXPECTED TO
REACH 1 IN/HR.

DISCUSSION...METARS CONFIRM MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY SNOW
ASSOCIATED WITH A BAND OF ENHANCED RADAR REFLECTIVITY FROM NEAR NYC
TO HARTFORD. THIS APPEARS TO BE LOCATED ALONG THE EDGE OF THE
850-700 MB JET AND ASSOCIATED FRONTOGENETICAL FORCING. GUIDANCE IS
CONSISTENT THAT THIS ASCENT WILL WANE SOMEWHAT DURING THE AFTERNOON.
THIS WILL LIKELY MITIGATE AN APPRECIABLE INCREASE IN SNOWFALL
INTENSITY DESPITE A TRANSITION TO SNOW OVER A BROADER AREA AS THE
THERMODYNAMIC COLUMN COOLS AOB FREEZING. AS SUCH...SNOWFALL RATES
SHOULD PEAK NEAR 1 IN/HR FROM NOW THROUGH ABOUT 20-21Z.

..GRAMS.. 11/07/2012


ATTN...WFO...BOX...OKX...ALY...PHI...

LAT...LON 40667400 40017493 39767508 39737523 39847545 40037542
40287528 40687497 41637389 42037282 41917275 41217319
40667400
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Quoting SyriboTigereyes:

Really hoping it doesn't go out when the winds pick up. At least we have the wood stove... but I am charging all of my electronics just in case.

Hey, in case it goes out again, at least we got to enjoy it for a few days..? ;)


Yes we did!

It just snowed like a banshee here again at work in Babylon. Power flickered in Massapequa, Farmingdale,(and probably more). Heard one school that opened today in Farmingdale lost power already, and sent the kids home early.
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URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBANY NY
1151 AM EST WED NOV 7 2012


CTZ001-013-MAZ001-025-NYZ058>061-063>066-080000-
/O.NEW.KALY.WW.Y.0012.121107T1700Z-121108T1200Z/
NORTHERN LITCHFIELD-SOUTHERN LITCHFIELD-NORTHERN BERKSHIRE-
SOUTHERN BERKSHIRE-WESTERN GREENE-EASTERN GREENE-WESTERN COLUMBIA-
EASTERN COLUMBIA-WESTERN ULSTER-EASTERN ULSTER-WESTERN DUTCHESS-
EASTERN DUTCHESS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...TORRINGTON...OAKVILLE...NEW MILFORD...
TERRYVILLE...PITTSFIELD...NORTH ADAMS...GREAT BARRINGTON...LEE...
LENOX...HOUSATONIC...HUNTER...TANNERSVILLE...WIND HAM...CATSKILL...
COXSACKIE...ATHENS...CAIRO...JEFFERSON HEIGHTS...HUDSON...
CHATHAM...SUNDOWN...ELLENVILLE...WOODSTOCK...WEST HURLEY...
KERHONKSON...NAPANOCH...PHOENICIA...KINGSTON...NE W PALTZ...
POUGHKEEPSIE...BEACON...ARLINGTON...PAWLING...DOV ER PLAINS...
MILLBROOK...PINE PLAINS...AMENIA...MILLERTON
1151 AM EST WED NOV 7 2012

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM EST THURSDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ALBANY HAS ISSUED A WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW AND GUSTY WINDS...WHICH IS IN EFFECT
UNTIL 7 AM EST THURSDAY.

* LOCATIONS...ULSTER...DUTCHESS...COLUMBIA...BERKSHI RE...AND
LITCHFIELD COUNTIES.

* HAZARD TYPES...SNOW AND GUSTY WINDS.

* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 6 INCHES EXPECTED
IN VALLEY AREAS...AND 4 TO 8 INCHES ACROSS HIGHER ELEVATIONS.

* TIMING...PERIODS OF SNOW...SOME MODERATE TO BRIEFLY HEAVY IN
INTENSITY...DEVELOPING DURING THE EARLY AFTERNOON HOURS...AND
CONTINUING THROUGH OVERNIGHT.

* IMPACTS...SLIPPERY TRAVEL CONDITIONS LIKELY TO DEVELOP THIS
AFTERNOON...AND CONTINUE THROUGH THE OVERNIGHT HOURS. POOR
VISIBILITIES ALSO LIKELY DUE TO FALLING...AND SOME BLOWING AND
DRIFTING SNOW.

* WINDS...NORTH TO NORTHEAST WINDS INCREASING TO 10 TO 20
MPH...WITH GUSTS OF 25 TO 35 MPH POSSIBLE AT TIMES...ESPECIALLY
ACROSS HIGHER ELEVATIONS.

* TEMPERATURES...LOWER TO MID 30S THIS AFTERNOON...FALLING INTO
THE UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S LATE THIS AFTERNOON INTO TONIGHT.

* VISIBILITIES...OCCASIONALLY LESS THAN ONE MILE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW...SLEET...OR
FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR
SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE
DRIVING.

&&

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42148


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Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Im glad the people from the northeast are posting and telling us whats going on up there now..we here can use the internet etc, but there's nothing like having first hand knowledge and hearing whats going on up there..hope you all come thru this ok, power outages are already being reported on the news etc..bad when the temps are freezing
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42148
Quoting Matthias1967:


One possibility to increase employment: put all power lines in urban areas under the earth before 2020.

Sounds easy... but who will pay for it?
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Quoting 7544:
nice blob shaping up in the caribiean do we have a blob alert yet ? could it try to form into something
its been there for a couple of weeks now,winds and temps arent where they need to be for it to get anything together , home grown systems we look for this month closer to home
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42148
I always late for things....

Winter storm ATHENA?!
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Quoting Gaara:


Milford, CT here. Just went from 150 outages on ui's website to over 2000.


One possibility to increase employment: put all power lines in urban areas under the earth before 2020.
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Following the sad news on Earthquake-report.com

Update 18:05 UTC : Rescue services have confirmed that 2 people have been killed in San Marcos (Edilsa Castillo Merida, age 47 and her niece Melany Castillo age 6 months). An assessment of the damage is coordinated by Conred Guatemala and is currently going on.

Update 17:58 UTC : Guatemalan president Otto Pérez Molina has called the Red Alert in the country after the massive earthquake who struck a little earlier.

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150. Midam
Quoting plutorising:
as far as adopt-a-vortex, dont you know they'll end up being named bestbuy, and olive garden, and at&t storms, just like all the arenas are.


How about the Con Ed Super-Storm?
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Quoting plutorising:
as far as adopt-a-vortex, dont you know they'll end up being named bestbuy, and olive garden, and at&t storms, just like all the arenas are.


New meaning to "TD" Banknorth!
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as far as adopt-a-vortex, dont you know they'll end up being named bestbuy, and olive garden, and at&t storms, just like all the arenas are.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 81
didn't we have a huge earthquake on one side and a hurricane on the other just last week?
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 81
In CT around the heavy band:









and a snow covered cam:
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Quoting Grothar:


We always like to name our storms when I lived in Norway. In 1992 they had a storm called Nyttårsorkanen. We've had Gudrun and Hergen.


"Back in St. Olaf..." :)
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144. 7544
nice blob shaping up in the caribiean do we have a blob alert yet ? could it try to form into something
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Quoting tornadodude:
One year ago today, way cooler than naming winter storms

I remember that EF 4. It didn't hit Oklahoma City or even Lawton. While it may hold meteorological significance, that tornado crossed rural areas. People stayed out of its way, and its claim to fame was taking out an Oklahoma mesonet station. Why pay attention to that EF4 tornado?

Tornado near Tipton, OK November 7, 2011. Click image for NWS Norman write up on Nov 7-8, 2011 severe weather events...


Sometimes sarcasm is the only thing that works. Yeah, nothing wrong with naming (add: winter) storms. NWS could, maybe should do it, and take the lead in doing it based on meteorology, not on how many TV viewers might be affected.

Probably some of you don't understand what I'm trying to say, so I'll shut up. Best wishes to those Back East as this noreaster rolls on through.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Arguing over naming storms, arguing over who won president...

Welcome to "The Divided States of America"

There are now 43 days till 12-21-12


just fyi, you should check the percentage of popular vote vs the last 6 elections.
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Thanks Dr. Masters.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
TrafficLand Traffic Cameras

A lot of the heaviest snow appears to be in connecticut, although a I've found a little bit in south NJ.

Heavy snow band going through Central to West Connecticut now

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Thank goodness no snow here in Newport. Wind is getting awfully strong though - we're definitely having similar gusts to this time last Monday, before Sandy really picked up. I JUST got my well back up and running Monday afternoon - not looking forward to any more power loss since the generator doesn't power the well. (Darn it.)
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Snowing now on the northside of Providence. Started about 10 mins ago with little flakes mixed in the rain, now the flakes are getting bigger. Wind not too bad. It was a little dicey this morning making my way back over the bridges from Newport.
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137. Gaara
Quoting SyriboTigereyes:
It's begun. One of our big streets lost power.. people in Floral Park I know lost power. People in my town have lost power. Here we go.


Milford, CT here. Just went from 150 outages on ui's website to over 2000.
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I wonder if there are certain conditions that will have to be met before naming a system, like depression, storm and the like...Or will they slap a name on every low pressure area that forms....If thats the case, I hope they have a name book with plenty of monikers.
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Well congress can probably agree if they have to to make Puerto Rico a state.....whenever they get to it.
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Oh I feel so bad... a friend about three blocks away from us, she just got her power back yesterday... and her transformer just blew and it's out again. That's just terrible.
Member Since: September 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 141
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Winter Weather Advisory is now up for new York city with forcast of 1 too 3" in the city
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42148
Quoting SyriboTigereyes:
It's begun. One of our big streets lost power.. people in Floral Park I know lost power. People in my town have lost power. Here we go.
yes more blackouts and power outages, try to stay warm and safe up there ok..storm should be over tomorrow i hope for you....
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42148
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It's begun. One of our big streets lost power.. people in Floral Park I know lost power. People in my town have lost power. Here we go.
Member Since: September 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 141
Gasoline may be coming northeast..who cares how much money they will rake in..get that Gas here...i can hear the people shouting and cant blame them with the freezing temps etc..................Oil traders may end up making millions as a result of a temporary waiver of the Jones Act, which will enable oil tankers from the Gulf of Mexico to bring petroleum to Northeastern ports to relieve the gasoline shortage caused by Hurricane Sandy, Reuters reports.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42148
One year ago today, way cooler than naming winter storms

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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42148
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Whatever happened to the 188 day return period on earthquakes?

Oh right its 2012....somewehere a Mayan stone carver is quietly chuckling away.
remember..just 43 more days
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42148
Quoting Grothar:


Just spoke to my brother in Lloyd Harbor. Lights have been going on and off. The wind is getting a little stronger.

Oh geez. My sisters cable actually just went back out, but she has her power, luckily. I have a feeling quite a lot of customers will be out soon again.

And the wind is definitely picking up. Windows are rattling. Got the wood stove going, flashlights, batteries, and all that good stuff in arms reach ;)
Member Since: September 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 141
Reuters:

Quake hits off Guatemala coast, felt as far away as Mexico

GUATEMALA CITY | Wed Nov 7, 2012 12:00pm EST

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - A strong earthquake off the coast of Guatemala on Wednesday shook buildings in Guatemala City and San Salvador and was felt as far away as Mexico City, Reuters witnesses said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck off the Central American nation's Pacific coastline, 28 miles southwest of Champerico, Guatemala, near the border with Mexico. The epicenter was 25 miles below the surface.

A Reuters witness in Guatemala City said people were evacuating homes in parts of the capital, and firefighters and rescue workers were on alert. Office workers were also evacuating buildings in Mexico City.

(Reporting By Mike McDonald in Guatemala City and Nelson Renteria in San Salvador; Editing by Eric Beech)

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Whatever happened to the 188 day return period on earthquakes?

Oh right its 2012....somewehere a Mayan stone carver is quietly chuckling away.
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Quoting MrMixon:


??? !!!

Hope everyone is OK...

I hope so to were so far from the epicenter and still felt it
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42148
Meanwhile, one year ago today


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Quoting Chucktown:
Glad to see the Stock Market is doing good. I blame it on Athena. Just sayin...

Updated: 11/07/2012 12:39 ET

DOW
12,913.98
-331.70

NASDAQ
2,934.53
-77.40

S&P
1,392.01
-36.38


Well you dont expect the same government that couldnt pass a budget and put everything off till after the election to agree now so suddenly did you?
Neither did investors.
This is congress, not only reelected with single digit approval ratings, but also reelected with nearly the same or more partisanship than it had before. And a lot of the companies in the stock market backed Romney too, so part of this was expected from that as well.
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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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