The Weather Channel has named today’s developing Nor’easter “Athena.” But the National Weather Service will not recognize this name.
In an official statement, the NWS Eastern Region headquarters has rejected the Weather Channel’s new winter storm naming scheme asking employees not to use the these names in forecasts and statements.
To be fair, The Weather Channel announced in early October that it would start naming “noteworthy winter storms” during the 2012-13 season.
Here’s a bullet-point list of their reasons:
- Naming a storm raises awareness.
- Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.
- A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.
- In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.
- A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future.
In the case of Athena, The Weather Channel explained in a post today that the “the main reason for naming the storm is due to additional post-Sandy impacts.” This includes major disruptions to roads and airports and “life-threatening conditions from wind, cold, snow and ice.”