4.1 Are you Storm Ready? On the Road with Vortex2

Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 3:30 PM
6B (Washington State Convention Center)
Maureen McCann, Central Florida News 13, Orlando, FL

Background: When severe weather strikes in Central Texas, viewers tune to News 8 Austin for continuous weather coverage. Being the southern tip of “Tornado Alley,” tornadoes are known to occur at anytime throughout the year; May is when they are most common. What that in mind, during May 2010 Meteorologist MaureenMcCann and Senior Photojournalist Roy Kuntz went to the front lines of severe weather to learn more about one of nature's most destructive forces. They joined up with the world's largest mobile tornado research project: the Verification of Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment, more readily known as “VORTEX2.” The project's main goal is to improve warning lead times to better inform the public. The end result from a broadcaster's perspective is to release those warnings to the viewers. For a week Maureen and Roy traveled alongside storm chasers throughout Oklahoma. But before leaving Austin, they produced a series of weather stories relevant to tornadoes and the need for better warnings. The idea was to remind viewers that Central Texas is prone to deadly twisters and proper preparation and warning could mean the difference between life and death. These packages aired concurrently with the daily coverage obtained from out on the chase. While on the road, they used multiple platforms of online and social interactive media to bring viewers along for the ride. This comprehensive series aimed to keep viewers Storm Ready.
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