According to meteorologists at the Weather Channel, the Nor'easter currently predicted to bring snow, sleet and high winds to the Lehigh Valley later today is named Athena.
The National Weather Service, however, is advising other meteorologists not to use that name. A story on The Examiner.Com reports the NWS issued a bulletin within minutes of the Weather Channel's on-air reference to the nor'easter as Athena that urges meteorologists not to refer to the storm by that name.
The statement from NWS reads: "TWC HAS NAMED THE NOR'EASTER "ATHENA.." THE NWS DOES NOT USE NAME WINTER STORMS IN OUR PRODUCTS. PLEASE REFRAIN FROM USING THE TERM ATHENA IN ANY OF OUR PRODUCTS."
The NWS only names tropical storms and meteorolgists warn that the scuffle over names used to market storms shouldn't detract from the fact that eastern Pennsylvania is currently under a winter weather advisory. Wind gusts of 50 mph and snow were reported in Massachusetts this morning and there are already snow photos popping up on social media sites from places along the eastern shore.
On Wednesday morning NWS predicted snow will start after 1 p.m. with a daytime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible. It will be breezy with a north wind of 14 to 22 mph with gusts as high as 37 mph.
The NWS predicts snow and sleet will start before 10 tonight followed by rain and sleet with a low temperature around 32. New snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 2 inches is possible.
In an Oct. 2 statement, The Weather Channel lists its rationale for naming storms as follows:
---The Weather Channel announced today its new naming system for winter storms, making it the first national organization in North America to proactively name winter storms. In time for the start of the winter season, naming storms makes communications and information sharing easier, enabling consumers to better understand forecasts that could significantly affect their lives.
“On a national scale, the most intense winter storms acquire a name through some aspect of pop culture and now, social media, for example Snowmaggeddon and Snotober,” said Tom Niziol, winter weather expert for The Weather Channel Companies. “Retrospectively naming lake effect storms has been a local success at The National Weather Service office in Buffalo, NY as well as with Weather Services throughout Europe and we believe it can be a useful tool on a national scale in the U.S.”