No hype with storm; experts call it the real thing

You can call it a snowstorm of historic proportions. You can call it the return of New England's blizzard of 1978. You can call it simply dangerous. And you can even call it Nemo.
Associated Press
Feb 8, 2013


But don't call it hype.

The new director of the National Weather Service says some may be getting carried away in describing the winter storm bearing down on the Northeast. But he says the science is simple and chilling.

Louis Uccellini is an expert on snowstorms. He says meteorologists are telling people that this is a dangerous storm because it is.

He says he's confident that this storm is "a very dangerous situation and people need to take proper action."

Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground, said the storm deserves the attention it's getting. "This is a serious life-threatening storm if you're trying to travel in it and getting stuck."

One of the big differences between this one and the 1978 blizzard is that the one 35 years ago surprised people and stranded them on the roads, said Keith Seitter of the Boston-based American Meteorological Society. This time preventive steps, like closing schools and an early order for people to be off Massachusetts roads before dark, should save lives and make roads easier to clear, experts said.

For more than a week, forecasters have seen it coming. New Englanders compare it to the 1978 storm that hit that region so hard. Meteorologists put it in the category of those that earned nicknames like the even bigger East Coast blizzard of 1993 dubbed the "storm of the century." The Weather Channel is even giving it a name — Nemo.

The National Weather Service has rejected the cable TV network's decision to give The weather service uses names for hurricanes and tropical storms created by the World Meteorological Organization, but not other types of storms.

Snowbound MIT meteorology professor Kerry Emanuel agrees that forecasters are telling it like it is. But he adds that extreme weather like this fascinates not just weather geeks, but the media and everyone.

"People sort of like it," says Emanuel, who is stuck in his Lexington, Mass., home. "It's the weather porn phenomena. There are people glued to The Weather Channel."

Heidi Cullen is a climate scientist who once worked for The Weather Channel. Now chief climatologist at Climate Central, a nonprofit science journalism group, says our fascination with this storm is normal and this is a blizzard worthy of the attention.

"This is historic. This is a big one," Cullen says. "When you have a good forecast and a long lead time... You see it form and develop a personality. And if you name it, it has even more of a personality. It's the intersection of science, technology and media."

"By definition when we give things a name, it does allow us to connect with it," Cullen says. "It gives it a narrative. We're hard-wired for stories and we can turn these weather events into stories."




The blizzard of '78 didn't affect as many and as much, besides the people in Ohio. The East Coast and West Coast ALWAYS get more coverage. Screw "flyover" country. They don't count. Shove it, AP.

Too many cuss words I want to use right now.


We just supply you with hog and cow meat and soybeans and corn. We used to supply you with quality steel and cars and many other manufactured parts. Now we are just "flyover" country. When the weather hits us hard, it never hits as hard as it does on the East or West Coast. Bite me.

Phil Packer

Fargin icehole of a storm.


"The Weather Channel is even giving it a name — Nemo."

IMO, this naming of a blizzard business is REALLY wacky.

How about, from now on we'll refer to the Blizzard of '78 as Pixie? :)


The weather channel just started naming the winter storms this season . Others were Gandolf , Khan , Orko to name a few . Just like naming hurricanes I believe it makes them easier to remember down the road . I think they will be talking about Nemo for awhile . Ironic , Nemo means "nobody " in Latin . I guess in this case Nemo will at least be something .; )


@ Bluto:

Oh I fully understand the rationale, but IMO, to make it more memorable gives it a letter along with the yr.

Not unlike what is done initially with space objects like newly discovered comets and near Earth asteroids.

Without looking it up: When was Hurricane Andrew?


I really hope it shuts down the whole North Eastern Seaboard. So much so, that they can't even televise it for hours.


@ Contango , I'm not a big hurricane follower so , I don't know off the top of my head , but that is why I like that they are naming them . I will probably forget them in time anyway unless they stand out for obvious reasons . I do remember the 78 storm well though mostly because it affected me directly . These other storms in other locations , not so much . @ Luvblues , Man , You got some anger for the coasts ! What did they ever do to you ? ; )



Both Hurricanes Ike and Ivan greatly affected OH. The names aren't much help are they?

I remember the yr. of Katrina, cause I bought an energy ETF right afterward - up over 100% since.

The coasts? We need more Prezes and more political thinking outa the Midwest and that carpetbagger from IL byway of Hawaii don't count.


I noticed that you didn't refer to Ike's and Ivan's year instead . Thanks from us chronologically challenged folks . Maybe Washington should outsource the presidency ; )))


@ Bluto:

I didn’t name ‘em.

Outsource the pres.? We obviously "offshored" this one.

Interesting that as the U.S. nation builds across the world that we install parliamentary systems of govt. and not our own.

A parliamentary system would allow for greater minority representation instead of the Tweedledee and Tweedledum system we now have.


I do agree there . I guess it was what best suited the colonies when we were just a fledgling nation , or perhaps they just wanted to be different from ol' Britannia . Our two party system could use an overhaul .


I am a native Ohioan but I miss living in New England. I love it out there. The ocean and mountains are beautiful. It is so different from Ohio, so much more culturally diverse in every aspect. Ohio is great and will always be my "home" state but New England caught my heart. I wish I could take the best of New England and Ohio, merge them to make the perfect state for me (especially the lower cost of living and friendliness here in Ohio with the cultural and geographical beauty of New England). However, I am here on the lake which is nice too but I do miss the awesome nor'eastas and hurricanes that we would get out there. I would so love to be out there in Winter Storm Nemo right now. Hey, if we have to have winter then bring on the snow!!!


NH closed the state liquor stores?

IMO, this one reason why ya don't want the govt. owning and operating stuff.

The inhumanity!