From the ABC 7 Weather team

Hurricane Sandy: Other Names - the Media-an Opinion

November 1, 2012 - 04:10 PM
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Another "Perfect Storm"? Damage, losses not "perfect"

Almost a week ago as the threat that Sandy posed to the East coast grew, an excellent National Weather Service forecaster included that the storm might be a "Frankenstorm" in his discussion.  The name caught on in the blogosphere and media but was generally dropped as the seriousnesss of the storm became more apparent.  Cudos to CNN. 

"The name 'Frankenstorm' has been coined by some meteorologists and media.We are refraining due the severity of the storm"
— Rob Marciano (@robmarcianoCNN) October 26, 2012 " @capitalweather

But then within the competetive news/information business we had more names such as "Superstorm Sandy", "Snor’eastercane" but ABCNews  Nightline over the last few days has now decided to call this historic storm "The Perfect Storm".  My opinion a very bad choice. For the families who lost loved ones and are still suffering, the catastrophic damage not only along the coast but flooding and crippling snows inland, the loss of so many homes and destruction of entire neighborhoods, there is nothing "perfect" about this historic storm.  


Offering "Perfect Storm" stickers and commercial tie ins to a national tragedy sure doesn't help the recovery from this disaster. 



The "Perfect Storm" is a terrific book written in 1997 by Sebastian Junger.  A gripping tale of fishermen from Glouster, Massachusetts who were lost along with their ship the Andrea Gail in the monster Halloween storm of 1991 off the New England cost. Here's the track and impact of that storm courtesy AccuWeather.  


This is what Sandy and the 1991 storm looked like from space. 


Northeast storm of 1991                                           Sandy 2012

Sebastian Junger is not a meteorologist, but in researching the weather patterns that developed this storm previously known as the "Nor'easter of 91" or the "No-Name Storm", Junger talked with the late meteorologist Robert Case then in Boston.  Case described the unusual meteorological pattern of  tropical moisture streaming north from what had been Hurricane Grace, converging with a very strong cold front and intensifying wave in the jet stream that caused the storm to rapidly intensify or "bomb" off the coast.  Case described this as a "perfect" meteorological situation to generate this monster storm. During the conversation Christian Junger thought "that's it. . .that's the title I was looking for. . . ."The Perfect Storm"  It of course became a hit movie starring George Clooney in 2000.  Almost 10 years after the actual storm

The memory of those who went through the worst of Hurricane Sandy and it's human, economic and life changing impacts is still raw.  This disasterous storm and what happened will be with us for years.  It is not a perfect storm! It is a disasterous storm!  The name "Sandy" will be retired from tropical storm names.  it's memory will never be retired.  A  catchy name from another storm and a popular book years ago should be retired tomorrow.


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