If the idea of naming winter storms sounds strange to you, you're not alone in your thinking.
In a controversial move last month, The Weather Channel (a private weather company) announced their decision to begin naming notable winter storms in the 2012-2013 season. While their reasons for doing so parallel those of why tropical cyclones are named, the news has gotten mixed reviews. The most recent criticism comes from the National Weather Service.
NWS (a government organization) has issued a statement asking its meteorologists to refrain from referring to the first of these winter storms--which is being called "Athena"--by its TWC-given name.
The storm causing the above disagreement is a coastal storm, or nor'easter, forecast to affect the New England area beginning today and lasting into tomorrow. The threat of inclement weather includes several inches of rain, 6-12 inches of snowfall, and up to 60 mph winds along the coast. The fact that this storm is expected to impact many of the same regions which were devastated by Hurricane Sandy (a week ago today) is of grave concern.