Before moving on from last week’s coverage of developments in the technology used to identify and report on severe weather, a few remaining odds and ends in my reporter’s notebook deserve some attention.
- KCCI-TV, the Hearst Television station in Des Moines, Iowa, has on at least three occasions picked up the presence of severe weather before the National Weather Service. The station, which is one of a small number of U.S. TV stations with its own Baron Services dual-pol radar, gets fresh weather data every minute, rather than every 150 seconds as is provided by the National Weather Service. Station chief meteorologist John McLaughlin says those minute-by-minute updates can make a big difference in warning viewers during severe weather events when every second counts.
- Vizrt, which has found success with its Viz Weather system internationally, has spent the last year building greater visibility in the United States, says David Jorba, senior vice president of operations at Vizrt.To make its weather product more appealing to local broadcasters, Vizrt has fully integrated Viz Weather into Avid iNews, ENPS and Dalet News Suite, making weather data available to journalists and making weather templates available to news producers and on-air talent that can be filled automatically with weather data, such as current conditions, when a station’s meteorologists are not on duty.
- AccuWeather has added the ability to integrate Facebook , Twitter, Google+, Instagram and other social media postings into its StoryTeller Social Media App. The idea is a station can gather, sort and use viewer comments and images on its StoryTeller interactive touchscreen, making it possible to supplement a look at severe weather around the metro with content from viewers at specific locations.
- WSI-Weather Central has recently added Storm Surge to its lineup severe weather prediction tools. For tropical and coastal regions, the product provides contours on a map to show where flooding will occur from the storm surge of a hurricane.