Two days ago, I wrote on this blog:
The Meteorology. Over the next few days, you may be hearing terms like "cold core, warm core, baroclinic, hybrid,"etc. This is important to meteorologists but not important to you. For the purposes of this blog, the storm is "Hurricane Sandy" regardless of its temperature structure aloft.
This morning, the National Hurricane Center stated,
NOTE THAT WIND HAZARDS FOR SANDY NORTH OF THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA ARE BEING HANDLED BY HIGH WIND...STORM...AND GALE WATCHS AND WARNINGS ISSUED BY LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES. GALE CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY TO FIRST REACH THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST BY LATE SUNDAY.
Translated: We aren't going to issue hurricane watches and warnings for Hurricane Sandy.
Meteorologists, as a group, get hung up on technicalities. Even though the storm, until dissipation, will always be the swirl of clouds known as Sandy at its center, over time the storm may transition from having a warm core (classic hurricane) to a cold core (hybrid) two miles above the ground. Other than meteorologists, who cares?
Everyone knows a hurricane is really bad -- and we believe this storm will be really bad. So, a hurricane warning would have told everyone what they needed to know.
Non-mariners don't know the definition of "gale force winds" (FYI: 39 to 54 mph). Disregarding that using hurricane warnings would be clearer, the NWS is going to get hung up on "gale, storm, high wind, inland high wind" and their alphabet soup of warning types with Sandy. Plus, with each individual NWS office having warning responsibility, rather than the National Hurricane Center, inconsistencies may develop. This occasionally occurs with Nor'easters and similar storms.
I believe this is an unfortunate decision by the NWS.
As stated two days ago, I will continue to refer to the storm as Hurricane Sandy when referring to the storm's center.