S104 Penn State Live Broadcast Team : Broadcasting Through the Storm

Sunday, 22 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Amanda Reynolds, Penn State University, University Park, PA; and B. T. Mastro

On the evening of April 19th 2015, a group of young meteorologists gathered in the weather center on the 6th floor of Penn Stateâ s Walker building, to discuss the possibility of severe storms in the area the following day. After much discussion and looking over forecast models, it was decided that the Campus Weather Service Live Broadcast Team would produce a live severe weather broadcast, streamed on YouTube, for April 20th 2015. Through that broadcast, we were able to warn the public in advance of the severe weather that eventually produced a few tornadoes. The broadcast itself was a great success, garnering nearly 300 unique viewers from 25 different states, including 205 from Pennsylvania. The Live Broadcast Team was formed in 2013 when several students interested in broadcasting decided that they wanted more real-life experience for severe weather events. What started as a rag-tag team operation has now blossomed into a cornerstone of the Penn State Campus Weather Service. The Live Broadcast Team has produced severe weather coverage for many events, in Pennsylvania and across the United States, including the Blizzard of 2016, Hurricane Patricia, in addition to many convective systems. Social media is an integral part of the Live Broadcast Team, and the Campus Weather Service as a whole. With nearly 5,000 twitter followers and nearly 2,000 likes on Facebook, we are the most followed student-run weather twitter account in the nation. Through this network we reach a large audience that we can inform about impending weather events in real time. During our broadcasts we have a â Social Media Deskâ where we utilize TweetDeck to find relevant tweets about storm updates, public reactions, and even spotter reports. This poster shows how the Live Broadcast Team has utilized new technology such as Google Hangouts livestreaming, virtual sets, and the integration of social media to best bring real-time critical weather updates to the people that really matter, the public.
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