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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Quoting AussieStorm:
Gif of the supercell storm that brought chaos to western Sydney. RFD or Tornado caused damage to shopping center, factory roof, trees down, power poles down, pea to golf ball size hail. So very glad it didn't come my way.

wow that was a bad storm there aussie
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38197
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Now that is a front.. earl next week!
..yeah and its going to hit florida i guess according to my area's future forecast..man its COLD here this morning..guess nothing like up north but for us its cold compared to what we are used to
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38197
Everyone have a great Thursday!
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Quoting atris:


The issue is that the NHC names the Hurricanes not a private commercial company but that is only my opinion.
its the NWS not the NHC that would..if they wanted to..name winter storms..the NHC only names tropical systems..and its NOT going to happen
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38197
Quoting atris:


The issue is that the NHC names the Hurricanes not a private commercial company but that is only my opinion.

Agreed.
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It would be funny if Brutus became bustus.

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505. atris
Quoting aislinnpaps:
It makes me wonder if the same thing happened when they decided to begin naming hurricanes... I'm sure not all people agreed with that but it's been lost in history.


The issue is that the NHC names the Hurricanes not a private commercial company but that is only my opinion.
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Now that is a front.. earl next week!
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503. atris
Quoting AussieStorm:

Yep, wouldn't want the NWS to trip up and issue a warning for Athena or Brutus. The forecasters a$$ would be grass very quickly.


LOL! Yes. It looks to me like they wouldn't get time to clear their desk, if they did slip up .
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It makes me wonder if the same thing happened when they decided to begin naming hurricanes... I'm sure not all people agreed with that but it's been lost in history.
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Quoting atris:


LOL !! Yes Thats the very one ... Its very curt in its directions..

Yep, wouldn't want the NWS to trip up and issue a warning for Athena or Brutus. The forecasters a$$ would be grass very quickly.
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500. atris
Quoting AussieStorm:


You mean this one??



LOL !! Yes Thats the very one ... Its very curt in its directions..
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Quoting atris:


Totally agree with this comment and the NWS issued a warning to their staff regarding this issue ..Saw it Via Joe Bastardi Twitter feed Link


You mean this one??

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497. atris
Quoting AussieStorm:

But it's only TWC that's doing it. If CNN, NBC, CBS or other news programs did also use the name Athena, then people might take more notice of it. All it is, is a marketing gimmick, that's all.


Totally agree with this comment and the NWS issued a warning to their staff regarding this issue ..Saw it Via Joe Bastardi Twitter feed Link
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Quoting Doppler22:
Winter Storm Brutus has been named over Montana

your source please, I see nothing on TWC website.

There it is....

Mike Bettes @TWCMikeBettes
*BREAKING* @weatherchannel has just named Winter Storm #Brutus. Get the latest on TWC & http://weather.com for major snowstorm in the west
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Winter Storm Brutus has been named over Montana
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Miami NWS Disco

DRY AND UNSEASONABLY COOL TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE TO ENVELOP
THE SOUTH FLORIDA AREA OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS. STRONG HIGH
PRESSURE CONTINUES TO BUILD ACROSS THE DEEP SOUTH BRINGING
NORTHERLY WINDS AND A COOL CONTINENTAL AIR MASS THROUGH THE
FLORIDA PENINSULA. SOME AREAS MAY NOT GET OUT OF THE 60S THIS
AFTERNOON. AS A RESULT...A FEW RECORD LOW MAXIMUM TEMPERATURES MAY
BE BROKEN.
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Quoting MahFL:


It's to try and increase the publics awareness and give the public a named item to focus on.

But it's only TWC that's doing it. If CNN, NBC, CBS or other news programs did also use the name Athena, then people might take more notice of it. All it is, is a marketing gimmick, that's all.
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Quoting NScoast:
So now they are naming winter storms. Is there any logical reason for doing this other that to draw a relation to hurricanes and give the media something to hype?


Weather Service says no to naming winter storm Athena

The Weather Channel took it upon themselves on Wednesday to name a huge New England winter storm and now the National Weather Service is telling their meteorologists not to follow suit.

The Atlanta-based Weather Channel began marketing the storm as Winter Storm Athena today, explaining to viewers it will bring cold temperatures, high winds and dump heavy snow upon the already devastated northeastern states caused by Super Storm Sandy.

"Winter warnings this early in the season, that is pretty significant for that area," Weather Channel winter weather expert Tom Niziol explained on-air at 8:50 a.m. EDT. "What really compounds this is the aftermath of Sandy, and that again is the main reason why we are naming this storm."

Minutes later, the National Weather Service issued a bulletin asking NWS meteorologists to cease calling the winter storm by a name.

"TWC has named the Nor'easter Athena," the National Weather Service in Bohemia, New York said. "The NWS does not use name winter storms in our products. Please refrain from using the term Athena in any of our products."

The term "products" is what the NWS refers to as their forecasts and information.

Weather offices in the northeast understood not to call the storm Athena in their weather reports.

"The National Weather Service has no opinion about private weather enterprise products and services," a recently released memo from the weather service states. "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."

The statement concludes by saying, "While the National Weather Service does not name winter storms, we do rate major winter storms after the fact."

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings for New Jersey and parts of Delaware and Pennsylvania for Wednesday.

Wind gusts of 50 m.p.h. and snow were reported in Massachusetts by late morning.

Niziol mentioned from Atlanta that this new winter storm's "cold temperatures are going to combine with moisture from this extremely energetic system to produce the snowfall."

The weather service has named only tropical storms in the past and never has a winter storm been issued a formal name.

Some on Twitter called Athena a marketing tool by The Weather Channel to increase it's ratings.

To keep the Weather Channel's season moving, the network also issued a complete list of alphabetical names for the 2012-13 winter storms.

Roman names will follow the Greek Athena with Brutus and Ceaser, that is if the nation's premier weather office does not step in to firmly halt the names.

Link
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491. MahFL
Quoting NScoast:
So now they are naming winter storms. Is there any logical reason for doing this other that to draw a relation to hurricanes and give the media something to hype?


It's to try and increase the publics awareness and give the public a named item to focus on.
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Good morning/evening all. Aussie, take care with that storm! A chilly 48 degrees here, with mid seventies for a high. Going to be a beautiful day here for us.
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So now they are naming winter storms. Is there any logical reason for doing this other that to draw a relation to hurricanes and give the media something to hype?
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#Noreaster snow update: Freehold, NJ-13" Manchester, NJ-12" North Haven, CT-12" Clintonville, CT-11.5" Armonk, NY-7.6" Flushing, NY-7"

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Gif of the supercell storm that brought chaos to western Sydney. RFD or Tornado caused damage to shopping center, factory roof, trees down, power poles down, pea to golf ball size hail. So very glad it didn't come my way.

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Quoting plutorising:
saw this on facebook (haven't called for details):

fema needs cleanup crews in south jersey. $1000 for 7 days, including hotel and food. call 904-797-5998.
It's not true. From FEMA's rumor control page:

FEMA

Also here: http://www.snopes.com/fraud/employment/femasandy. asp
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URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
348 AM EST THU NOV 8 2012

...STRONG TO DAMAGING WINDS CONTINUE TODAY...

MAZ019-081400-
/O.UPG.KBOX.WI.Y.0012.000000T0000Z-121108T1100Z/
/O.EXB.KBOX.HW.W.0005.000000T0000Z-121108T1400Z/
EASTERN PLYMOUTH MA-
INCLUDING THE CITY OF...PLYMOUTH
348 AM EST THU NOV 8 2012

...HIGH WIND WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM EST THIS MORNING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON HAS ISSUED A HIGH WIND
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM EST THIS MORNING. THE
WIND ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* LOCATIONS...COASTAL PLYMOUTH COUNTY IN MASSACHUSETTS.

* HAZARDS...STRONG WINDS.

* WINDS...NORTH 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 60 MPH.

* TIMING...STRONG TO DAMAGING WINDS WILL CONTINUE INTO AT LEAST
MID MORNING.

* IMPACTS...POTENTIAL FOR A FEW TREES TO BE KNOCKED DOWN AND MINOR
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE. ISOLATED TO SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES ARE
LIKELY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HIGH WIND WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS OF 40 MPH ARE
EXPECTED FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR...WITH GUSTS OF 58 MPH OR GREATER
AT ANY TIME. DAMAGE TO TREES...POWER LINES...AND PROPERTY ARE
POSSIBLE WITH WIND OF THIS MAGNITUDE. POWER OUTAGES ARE LIKELY.
TAKE ACTION NOW TO SECURE ANY LOOSE OUTDOOR OBJECTS.

&&

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38197
Tampa Bay area 7-day..chilly but not too bad this AM......
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38197
Quoting plutorising:
saw this on facebook (haven't called for details):

fema needs cleanup crews in south jersey. $1000 for 7 days, including hotel and food. call 904-797-5998.
..now THAT..should be posted in big letters on the front page of every newspaper..those people in NJ need help and there are so many people out of work..a big win on both sides
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38197
saw this on facebook (haven't called for details):

fema needs cleanup crews in south jersey. $1000 for 7 days, including hotel and food. call 904-797-5998.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 80
cool time lapse from last years record snowstorm in Arkansas


Link
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Quoting aspectre:
Interesting anamoly at low tide for Nantucket: nearly 2feet(60centimetres) off of the expectable

Wonder if NWS will investigate, and whether they'll tell us their conclusions if they do.

The next high tide will be an interesting one to watch. Currently 2ft 11in above predicted level.


Link
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Interesting low tide anamoly for Nantucket: nearly 2feet(60centimetres) higher than the expectable

Wonder if NWS will investigate, and whether they'll tell us their conclusions if they do.
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Quoting sunlinepr:


Dang, accidentally punked you. Nice images, as always.
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Quoting aspectre:
473 plutorising: ...sorry to edit your comment; I got in trouble for it earlier, but don't see why I shouldn't snip out parts i'm not going to comment on.

And a THANK YOU for the snipping. Less time wasted trying to find what you're responding to.
'bout the only thing I'd recommend is to add the comment number of the statement you're responding to, so people can check whether it's being used in context.
And your snipping earlier was fine: nothing outta context. Frankly AussieStorm has been being cranky about everything today: starting with someone being woken by a loud bang and posting on the WU before investigating the cause...

Me, cranky, LOL. I just found it weird someone would rather comment on a blog about something banging against there house then going to see what it was.

Penrith in Western Sydney about 30mins ago.

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473 plutorising: ...sorry to edit your comment; I got in trouble for it earlier, but don't see why I shouldn't snip out parts i'm not going to comment on.

And a THANK YOU for the snipping. Less time wasted trying to find what you're responding to.
'bout the only thing I'd recommend is to add the comment number of the statement you're responding to, so people can check whether it's being used in context.
And your snipping earlier was fine: nothing outta context. Frankly AussieStorm has been being cranky about everything today; starting with someone being woken by a loud bang and posting on the WU before investigating the cause...
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Quoting Progster:[snip] So I'm not quite sure what you are talking about when you say that most of the complaining is from people who don't like TWC. In fact, if I had to guess, most people on this site probably like the weather channel, as it is solely focused on one of their own great interests. [snip]


i have to say that i detest the weather channel because they have the platform to teach people meteorology but have chosen to dumb it down and tart it up, so even if they're only focused on the weather, they're focusing on the wrong part of it for me. [sorry to edit your comment; i got in trouble for it earlier, but don't see why i shouldn't snip out parts i'm not going to comment on.]
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 80
Fire & Rescue NSW ‏@FireRescueNSW
#FRNSW responding to widespread incidents of trees and powerlines down across western Sydney as severe #storm cell hits.

Lee Brooks ‏@brooksie101
Supercell storm with hail & winds to 100km/hr downing trees - moving into Liverpool, Moorebank now - Menai, Barden Ridge, Engadine 15mins

Sydney Traffic ‏@sydneytraffic
Penrith: Henry St at High St. TRAFFIC LIGHTS BLACKED OUT Power failure. Impact: Traffic in all dirs. Expected to remain blacked out until 7pm

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Quoting SyriboTigereyes:
I measured a bunch of spots around our deck with a tape measure. I got mainly 6" in every spot, about 8"+ in some spots where it was drifting. I would say we got a good 6" of snow here in Elmont on Long Island.

I just have never ever seen our trees like this. The one biggest one in our backyard looks like it just fell apart, or shed its branches. I count at least 9 separate huge pieces of it that have just fallen right off. Straight down. In our neighbors back yard. On the fence. Under the tree. All around it. And there are still many huge limbs still hanging on by a thread.


Does it look like this?/a>
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And I could have sworn I just heard thunder!
Member Since: September 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 141
I measured a bunch of spots around our deck with a tape measure. I got mainly 6" in every spot, about 8"+ in some spots where it was drifting. I would say we got a good 6" of snow here in Elmont on Long Island.

I just have never ever seen our trees like this. The one biggest one in our backyard looks like it just fell apart, or shed its branches. I count at least 9 separate huge pieces of it that have just fallen right off. Straight down. In our neighbors back yard. On the fence. Under the tree. All around it. And there are still many huge limbs still hanging on by a thread.
Member Since: September 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 141
Possible supercell thunderstorm moving SE through western Sydney. Penrith had a wind gust of 107km/h with this storm. Also sideways rain and pea size hail.

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SyriboTigereyes: ...giant chunks of our big tree in the back yard are all over our yard and on top of the fence between ours and our neighbors yard. And the other branches are so weighed down by snow and ice, they are touching the ground.
429 trHUrrIXC5MMX: wow...how much is that? like a foot? or more?

Less to do with how thick it is than how sticky&heavy wet snow is. The stickiness produces about the same nasty effects as ice-storms.

451 MTWX: That heavy wet snow takes out the tree branches still with leaves, which takes out the power...

If it can stick on powerlines, it can far more easily stick on bare limbs.
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Quoting aspectre:
419 ADCS: Good lord, the "Et tu, Brute" puns will be insufferable

Which always made me wonder what Julius et 2 of.


Swords. It gave him a terminal case of indigestion.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Looks just fine. Don't worry.

Yeah :) The fact that they are still connected is reassuring. And if the cable went out, which is what I assuming that is, it's not the end of the world. Even if the power went out, we still will be okay. I also noticed a gigantic piece of the tree fell about two feet behind my fathers new car. Very close.

The leaves on the trees are just completely covered in snow and ice.
Member Since: September 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 141
419 ADCS: Good lord, the "Et tu, Brute" puns will be insufferable
422 aspectre: Which always made me wonder what Julius et 2 of.
436 eyeofbetsy: Romeo'd what juli et.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
Kinda like the US and the President, or corporations and CEOs for that matter
Ave duci novo, similis duci seneci
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I have this coming my way very very soon. I'll be offline for a while.



Loop
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Quoting SyriboTigereyes:
Hmm, I went to check out our dining room window on these wires I noticed completely encased in ice and snow before and had a bad feeling about them. Sure enough, they are now hanging across our driveway. They're draped from the pole, leaning on the neighbors fence, across our driveway, and resting on our firewood. I have no idea what they are. Cable? Power? Everything is still working, for now, so at least they are connected?


I hope it's possible to even see since I know the pictures get made smaller.


Looks just fine. Don't worry.
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
"I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said.
If he wants locusts, it will have to get warmer. That's not a bad thing to wish for right now.
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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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