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 Matthias1967:


Actually I was slightly involved into German Wikipedia's list List of those storms and at the time we did not get it that Norway was using it's own naming system, we were pretty confused, so for some time Per was considered within us Wikipedians as a fake. Just figured out that we never corrected that.

However, though the systems got named from the 1950s onwards many of those earlier hurricane-force winds got named by a ship which they sunk, e.g. Capella-Orkan or Adolph-Bermpohl-Orkan or with some rare occasions when a region was hit, e.g. the Westeuropa-Orkan. Note that "Orkan" is derived from "huracán" and depicts storms with wind speeds in Beaufort strength 12, or hurricane-force winds. Basically the etymology of the word "Orkan" in German and "hurricane" in English is identic.


Yes, I learned that when I went to school in Germany for 5 years. German is actually my first language. We lived in Norway first but I was born on Long Island.

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The death toll from the strong Guatemala quake keeps rising.

Link
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Quoting TomballTXPride:

Oh, no. No need to. Myself and everyone knows you are female. That particular handle is a computer program I think. The way it quotes user seems consistent with an animated program that responds to random comments.
Tom........ You are right. I did have another handle but was banned for 1 year, When I finally was re-admitted(is that a word?) this is the handle I was given, Like it or not.
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Quoting Wunderwood:
well its been there..for several weeks now..why..isnt it a tropical something by now?
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Quoting SyriboTigereyes:

Unfortunately, this is something that is a controlled substance and prescribed by my pain management doctor for years now.. so it's not easy to work out in case of an emergency. I haven't even been able to get my nerve block done last week or this week. For some reason, even though I knew how bad Sandy was, and the effects from her, I thought these things would be sorted out with my doctors office(s) by now.. but I was so wrong.

The only lucky thing is that another medication of mine has a refill on it, another one I filled last week, and the other I don't have to fill until at least the 22nd. But this one... no such luck, just bad timing.


That is such a shame. Keep trying. I'd try one of my other doctors and explain the situation to them and see if they can help out on a temporary basis. Pain is no joke if you are the one having it.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Largo......I can't imagine, Been without power weeks here ..but not in cold temperatures
yes that has to be just awful up there, no power for a month, in freezing weather gee
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Quoting aspectre:
196 PalmBeachWeather: Maybe yes, Maybe no, But please don't call me "guy"......OK?

Surely you're joking.
Please don't call me Shirley
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Good afternoon. Snowing here in E/Central Mass, actually have a solid coating on the ground, even some of the side roads are covered.
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I don't see why there is all the fuss about TWC naming storms. They have been doing that up here in southern New England for decades and nobody ever cried about it. I actually like the idea as I have experienced quite a few Nor'Easters that were powerful enough to be given a name and be remembered by that. While I dislike TWC I'm not going to dismiss something simply because TWC is doing it.
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196 PalmBeachWeather: Maybe yes, Maybe no, But please don't call me "guy"......OK?

Surely you're joking.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting TomballTXPride:

You might be talking to a sophisticated computer program that translates talk into blog text. Don't know if that message will get through.

Although I agree with you, PBW!
I can send pictures
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Quoting TropicTraveler:


That is so awful! Can you ask your pharmacist to help you with this or to refer you to a similar doctor? Sometimes mine will give me a partial prescription until I can get through to the doctor. I'd give that a try.

Unfortunately, this is something that is a controlled substance and prescribed by my pain management doctor for years now.. so it's not easy to work out in case of an emergency. I haven't even been able to get my nerve block done last week or this week. For some reason, even though I knew how bad Sandy was, and the effects from her, I thought these things would be sorted out with my doctors office(s) by now.. but I was so wrong.

The only lucky thing is that another medication of mine has a refill on it, another one I filled last week, and the other I don't have to fill until at least the 22nd. But this one... no such luck, just bad timing.
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Quoting TropicTraveler:


That is so awful! Can you ask your pharmacist to help you with this or to refer you to a similar doctor? Sometimes mine will give me a partial prescription until I can get through to the doctor. I'd give that a try.


Some other things you can try:

Try calling the actual drug maker and describing the problem ... they may know of a way to expedite the situation.

Try calling your state or even federal senator's office, and ask them to advocate for you. They can get people's attention in a hurry.

You could call the ER room you would be planning on going to, explain the situation to them, and ask if you can come in early before you go into crisis.

If none of those works, try calling a crisis line that is away from the coast but in your state. Away from the coast means that maybe they are not overwhelmed with requests for help and may have the time and be able to come up with ideas for you.

I would also consider calling the governor's office... they may be able to help you but alswo they need to be made aware that if one person is having this problem, likely many are, and so some sort of system needs to be put together right away to handle this for people.

Good luck! Don't get discouraged either. Call people and keep calling them. Radio stations, cops, whatever you can think of, and gripe loud and long, in the New York Style.
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Quoting aspectre:
182 Matthias1967: According to Merriam-Webster, guys is used in plural to refer to the members of a group regardless of sex

Make that gender. So Guys and Dolls was about...
Nothin' new I guess. Even Shakespeare was fond of pointing out that gender roles should be As You Like It.
Maybe yes, Maybe no, But please don't call me "guy"......OK?
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182 Matthias1967: According to Merriam-Webster, guys is used in plural to refer to the members of a group regardless of sex

Make that gender. So Guys and Dolls was about... nothin' new I guess...
...even Shakespeare was fond of pointing out that gender roles should be As You Like It.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Naming clouds? I suppose TWC might do that--if that cloud could somehow "receive a ranking of 'notable' or higher on NOAA's Regional Snowfall Index (RSI) or Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS)", and ultimately affect, inconvenience, or endanger millions of people.

Were last fall's "Snowtober" to happen again this year, it would certainly receive a TWC name. I have to wonder how many here would call that event "trivial"...
Maybe some would call it "trivial" BUT, It just doesn't really matter does it? I mean... SO, I mean. What does it matter what label is put on it?
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I Suppose as a special treat today we are allowed to talk about weather again.
Is everybody happy with the reelected prime minister?
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Quoting MontanaZephyr:
I can't quite put my finger on why, but there is something vulgar and crass about this naming of winter storms.

Why? Could it be that it is because it is not a discrete entity in the way that a tropical system is...?

Winter storms in the past have developed names when they were memorable... "The Great Blizzard" (1888), for instance. But this Athena business.... who in the world is going to remember this storm even a month from now...? The only name that it even remotely deserves is "Son of Sandy", due to its proximity in time to Sandy.... which makes some people and property more vulnerable... but any other time, any New Yorker would simply call it "November", put on a rain slicker, maybe, and not give it another thought.

THAT is what the problem is: They are elevating the trivial, and, by doing so, somewhat throwing a blanket over events that are not trivial. What's to be next...? The naming of individual clouds?

Hooray for the NWS position on this silliness!
Naming clouds? I suppose TWC might do that--if that cloud could somehow "receive a ranking of 'notable' or higher on NOAA's Regional Snowfall Index (RSI) or Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS)", and ultimately affect, inconvenience, or endanger millions of people.

Were last fall's "Snowtober" to happen again this year, it would certainly receive a TWC name. I have to wonder how many here would call that event "trivial"...
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I found an accident...interesting.
PA:
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Quoting yriboTigereyes:

The biggest problem I'm having is that I have not been able to get through to my doctors offices (Any of them) in a week. And I need to see him on Monday as I have two prescriptions I need to get that day and have them filled. But I literally can't get through to anyone, and it's freaking me out. I will be in the ER if I am not able to get these filled.. I've never experienced a situation like this before. And they are not medications I can just go to any doctor, not even my primary care doctor, to get.

Right now, I'm starting to not even care about our power because all I can think about is this. And all of the other people going through the same problems. Doctors offices not open, not having enough gas to get there, not able to get their medications or treatment. I haven't been able to get any procedures either this week or last, and I usually go every week or two. Sandy is the gift that keeps on giving.

_________

Usually you can go to your Pharmacy and explain that you can't get in touch with your Dr. and they will give you 4 or 5 days worth to get you through. Worth a try.
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Quoting MontanaZephyr:
I can't quite put my finger on why, but there is something vulgar and crass about this naming of winter storms.

Why? Could it be that it is because it is not a discrete entity in the way that a tropical system is...?

Winter storms in the past have developed names when they were memorable... "The Great Blizzard" (1888), for instance. But this Athena business.... who in the world is going to remember this storm even a month from now...? The only name that it even remotely deserves is "Son of Sandy", due to its proximity in time to Sandy.... which makes some people and property more vulnerable... but any other time, any New Yorker would simply call it "November", put on a rain slicker, maybe, and not give it another thought.

THAT is what the problem is: They are elevating the trivial, and, by doing so, somewhat throwing a blanket over events that are not trivial. What's to be next...? The naming of individual clouds?

Hooray for the NWS position on this silliness!



But the NWS thought it was a good idea, just not something they would be involved in....and I think vulgar and crass is stretching it WAY too far.
I mean its something Europe does, and this is close to say alberto this year, that barealy did anything and got a name, except this actually will do something more.
Even if you consider this very minor, it could still be compared to a helene or jose.
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Quoting LargoFl:
I just came across this in a news article..I cannot believe what im reading......................Thousands have been without power for more than a week, and some Long Islanders have been told they won't get their power back until after Thanksgiving.
Largo......I can't imagine, Been without power weeks here ..but not in cold temperatures
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Quoting SyriboTigereyes:

The biggest problem I'm having is that I have not been able to get through to my doctors offices (Any of them) in a week. And I need to see him on Monday as I have two prescriptions I need to get that day and have them filled. But I literally can't get through to anyone, and it's freaking me out. I will be in the ER if I am not able to get these filled.. I've never experienced a situation like this before. And they are not medications I can just go to any doctor, not even my primary care doctor, to get.

Right now, I'm starting to not even care about our power because all I can think about is this. And all of the other people going through the same problems. Doctors offices not open, not having enough gas to get there, not able to get their medications or treatment. I haven't been able to get any procedures either this week or last, and I usually go every week or two. Sandy is the gift that keeps on giving.


That is so awful! Can you ask your pharmacist to help you with this or to refer you to a similar doctor? Sometimes mine will give me a partial prescription until I can get through to the doctor. I'd give that a try.
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95 LargoFl: I was wondering, why isn't there convoys of fuel tankers headed towards the northeast? You would think the oil companies would see a bonanza in the making with HUGE lines of customers waiting and pleading for gasoline up there. Why isn't it happening?

Because since Sandy, the problem hasn't been a lack of bulk supply. It's been a lack of (electricity to power) fuel pumps to get the retail supply out from the underground storage tanks to the consumers. And where the retail storage tanks ran dry (because competitors' pumps weren't working), an inability to deliver new fuel because the roads were/are unnavigable due to storm debris and downed powerlines.
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1 minJoe Bastardi‏@BigJoeBastardi

WInds at Buzzards Bay are sustained at 60 with gusts over 70 mph
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I can't quite put my finger on why, but there is something vulgar and crass about this naming of winter storms.

Why? Could it be that it is because it is not a discrete entity in the way that a tropical system is...?

Winter storms in the past have developed names when they were memorable... "The Great Blizzard" (1888), for instance. But this Athena business.... who in the world is going to remember this storm even a month from now...? The only name that it even remotely deserves is "Son of Sandy", due to its proximity in time to Sandy.... which makes some people and property more vulnerable... but any other time, any New Yorker would simply call it "November", put on a rain slicker, maybe, and not give it another thought.

THAT is what the problem is: They are elevating the trivial, and, by doing so, somewhat throwing a blanket over events that are not trivial. What's to be next...? The naming of individual clouds?

Hooray for the NWS position on this silliness!
Member Since: May 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 432
Quoting pcola57:


G'morning TA,
I hope you realize that not all bloggers here are"Guy's"


According to Merriam-Webster, guys is used in plural to refer to the members of a group regardless of sex

:-)
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Quoting LargoFl:
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

Say what? That area is the prime area for late season development.
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4 minCapital Weather Gang‏@capitalweather

Winds currently gusting 40 mph+ Long Island and E Mass, near 50 mph Nantucket and Cape Cod: http://wapo.st/PXC5Q9
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Quoting MahFL:
They name storms in Europe, so it's not a new idea. I don't see anyone complaining about named storms in Europe.


Actually they're naming every low or high. On 6/11/2012 there were around the lows Zelda over Poland, Annkathrin over South Norway, and Barbara near Iceland. I guess that the low which was near Newfoundland yesterday morning could become Catrin once it comes nearer to Europe, maybe tomorrow. The high Normen was centered over South France today.

Of course the general public gets aware only if a system is significant in one way or the other, let it be a long good weather period in summer or a serious wind storm, mostly in automn or winter.

So "adopt a vortex" is different to what TWC initiated which is intended to name only significant storm events/extratropicale cyclones.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



here the blog


Link


thanks taz
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Capital Weather Gang‏@capitalweather

Key Nor'easter stats so far: Up to 2" snow Conn, 70 mph wind gust Martha's Vineyard, up to 3' storm surge DE/NJ coast, http://wapo.st/PXC5Q9
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Capital Weather Gang‏@capitalweather

Impressive MT @mattnoyesnecn: Martha's Vineyard Shipyard now has gusted 72mph from the northeast. 2mph shy of hurricane force.
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Quoting biff4ugo:
What is the odd thin darker trail of vapor on the GOES east water vapor loop thats source is about 600 miles east of Cape Canaveral at 12 Z and drifts east with the winds but continues making a thin dark plume of vapor hours later?
Is this some odd nucleating source?

If I'm looking at the same thing you are, it looks like a lone shower struggling to become a thunderstorm amidst a vast sea of dry air.

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The mid-level low associated with this nor'easter appears to be cutting off from the main flow and stalling, means that the trough overall is losing its best dynamics and less negatively tilted.

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What is the odd thin darker trail of vapor on the GOES east water vapor loop thats source is about 600 miles east of Cape Canaveral at 12 Z and drifts east with the winds but continues making a thin dark plume of vapor hours later?
Is this some odd nucleating source?
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Quoting jeffs713:

Sounds easy... but who will pay for it?


Who, now, pays for fixing those lines every two weeks? The return of investment should not be that long.
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The National Weather Service issued a high-wind warning for expected "damaging winds," effective from 1 p.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday. Such a warning means "a hazardous high wind event is expected," in this case with 25- to 35-mph winds and gusts as high as 60 mph. But gusts along the coast may peak at 70 mph, David Stark, a meteorologist with the weather service, said.

Such winds are capable of bringing down trees and power lines, and creating minor property damage, officials said.

The weather service also issued a coastal flood warning for the South Shore, Long Island Sound and Peconic and Gardiners bays on the East End from late morning Wednesday through 7 a.m. Thursday.
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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.


Actually I was slightly involved into German Wikipedia's list List of those storms and at the time we did not get it that Norway was using it's own naming system, we were pretty confused, so for some time Per was considered within us Wikipedians as a fake. Just figured out that we never corrected that.

However, though the systems got named from the 1950s onwards many of those earlier hurricane-force winds got named by a ship which they sunk, e.g. Capella-Orkan or Adolph-Bermpohl-Orkan or with some rare occasions when a region was hit, e.g. the Westeuropa-Orkan. Note that "Orkan" is derived from "huracán" and depicts storms with wind speeds in Beaufort strength 12, or hurricane-force winds. Basically the etymology of the word "Orkan" in German and "hurricane" in English is identic.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
I always late for things....

Winter storm ATHENA?!



read back a few page
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Quoting longislander102:


Yes, a co-worker of mine among them. He lives in Bayshore. Has been staying with his cousin who has power, but now his cousing kicking him out on Friday (how cruel). So, I told him and his family to come to my house if they still don't get there power back by then.
thats good,at least he has somewhere warm to stay..this is just awful
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Quoting SyriboTigereyes:

The biggest problem I'm having is that I have not been able to get through to my doctors offices (Any of them) in a week. And I need to see him on Monday as I have two prescriptions I need to get that day and have them filled. But I literally can't get through to anyone, and it's freaking me out. I will be in the ER if I am not able to get these filled.. I've never experienced a situation like this before. And they are not medications I can just go to any doctor, not even my primary care doctor, to get.

Right now, I'm starting to not even care about our power because all I can think about is this. And all of the other people going through the same problems. Doctors offices not open, not having enough gas to get there, not able to get their medications or treatment. I haven't been able to get any procedures either this week or last, and I usually go every week or two. Sandy is the gift that keeps on giving.


That is horrible news!
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Quoting LargoFl:
I just came across this in a news article..I cannot believe what im reading......................Thousands have been without power for more than a week, and some Long Islanders have been told they won't get their power back until after Thanksgiving.


Yes, a co-worker of mine among them. He lives in Bayshore. Has been staying with his cousin who has power, but now his cousing kicking him out on Friday (how cruel). So, I told him and his family to come to my house if they still don't get there power back by then.
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Quoting LargoFl:
I just came across this in a news article..I cannot believe what im reading......................Thousands have been without power for more than a week, and some Long Islanders have been told they won't get their power back until after Thanksgiving.

I never heard the after Thanksgiving thing.. there is about 150,000 without power now, I think, from almost one million. It's absolutely crazy here. And the gas lines and situation has not improved even a drop on Long Island.
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Quoting longislander102:


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.

The biggest problem I'm having is that I have not been able to get through to my doctors offices (Any of them) in a week. And I need to see him on Monday as I have two prescriptions I need to get that day and have them filled. But I literally can't get through to anyone, and it's freaking me out. I will be in the ER if I am not able to get these filled.. I've never experienced a situation like this before. And they are not medications I can just go to any doctor, not even my primary care doctor, to get.

Right now, I'm starting to not even care about our power because all I can think about is this. And all of the other people going through the same problems. Doctors offices not open, not having enough gas to get there, not able to get their medications or treatment. I haven't been able to get any procedures either this week or last, and I usually go every week or two. Sandy is the gift that keeps on giving.
Member Since: September 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 140
Quoting longislander102:


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.
I just came across this in a news article..I cannot believe what im reading......................Thousands have been without power for more than a week, and some Long Islanders have been told they won't get their power back until after Thanksgiving.
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Quoting tornadodude:
One year ago today, way cooler than naming winter storms


I've deleted what I originally wrote here, because there's no call for inflicting my bad day at work on innocent bystanders, but... "cool"? Really? "cool"?
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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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About JeffMasters

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