Author Archives: Nate Johnson

About Nate Johnson

Meteorologist, instructor, blogger, and podcaster.

Naming winter storms: Not less confusion, more confusion

I was prompted by a conversation with one of my friends on Facebook to take a look at who’s talking about the most-recently-named winter storm on Twitter and why. Amongst one of the first results was this from an unfortunately … Continue reading

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BREAKING: NOAA’s Dr. Jane Lubchenco stepping down in February 2013

In an email to NOAA employees this morning, Dr. Jane Lubchenco announces she is returning “to my family and academia” at the end of February. ¬†Full text of the email is reproduced below: “December 12, 2012 Dear NOAA Family, I … Continue reading

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First Sandy Assessment Team: We Were Moving Forward

An assessment of the National Weather Service’s performance before and during Hurricane Sandy is moving forward, and that is a good thing. However, there seem to be plenty of confusion about how and why the last effort was terminated. NOAA’s … Continue reading

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BREAKING: NWS Says Hurricane Warning Changes Only a “Proposal”

Around 1:15pm this afternoon, AccuWeather.com reported the National Hurricane Center was modifying the definition of hurricane warnings in the wake of Hurricane Sandy: Following the criticism of the National Hurricane Center’s handling of Hurricane Sandy and the non-issuance of hurricane … Continue reading

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NWS Heading Further Down the Spiral

The crisis surrounding the National Weather Service’s (NWS’s) handling of its assessment of the agency’s performance before and during Hurricane Sandy – including but not limited to the controversial decision not to issue hurricane warnings for the northeastern United States … Continue reading

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Assessing Sandy: Warnings and the Weather Enterprise (UPDATED: Now two NWS reasons why the first team was scuttled)

Eleven days ago, I recapped the situation surrounding Hurricane Sandy, including the short-lived spin-up of the National Weather Service (NWS) Service Assessment team that would have been charged with investigating how the various arms of the agency performed before, during, … Continue reading

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Perfect storm, perfect mess

Noted crisis communication scholar W. Timothy Coombs defines a crisis as “the perception of an unpredictable event that threatens important expectancies of stakeholders and can seriously impact an organization’s performance and generate negative outcomes” (p. 2). What is brewing around … Continue reading

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Where this naming business runs off the rails

Mike Smith has made it something of a personal mission to show the world that meteorologists aren’t the bumbling, “get paid to be wrong” Keystone Kops of the scientific community that a lot of people make us out to be. … Continue reading

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A storm about naming storms

If you read this blog, you are no doubt already aware that The Weather Channel (TWC) announced today it will give names to winter storms this year. The reaction from the meteorological community has been broad and quite loud, if … Continue reading

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Time to scale back the scale?

As Hurricane Isaac lashes the Gulf coast, I’ve been taking in a lot of coverage from both national and local outlets as well as on Twitter. ¬† The size, strength, and potential for Isaac to be a bad storm have … Continue reading

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