J1.4 Technological and Scientific Advances Applied to Broadcast Meteorology (1975–2017)

Monday, 8 January 2018: 9:30 AM
Ballroom B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Jim Gandy, WLTX-TV, Columbia, SC

A career spanning more than four decades has seen numerous changes in the weathercast. In the 1970’s and 80’s broadcast meteorologists dealt primarily with television with some forays into radio and print. The late 1990’s saw the introduction of the internet and social media has surged to the forefront in the past decade. The number of broadcast platforms continues to increase. Technology on the weather front has advanced as well. The early days consisted of teletype and facsimile machines, but now it is primarily computers, both desktop and mobile. Radar was in its infancy with the introduction of the WSR-74C from Enterprise. Techniques for identifying severe weather were developed and applied for that platform. Doppler radar became the replacement in the 1990’s and is now the standard. Satellite technology has also advanced. It moved from facsimile photos to laser printouts to digital displays on computers. The frequency of the pictures and increased resolutions have provided the public a better view of the weather and a better understanding of daily weather changes. There have been changes in the weather forecasts as a result of the improvements in the science and technology. The extended forecast standard forty years ago was the 3-day forecast. It then moved to 5-day and now it is the 7-day. Some are now using a 10-day forecast while a few are farther into the future. The changes will be seen from the career of the author and is not intended to be all inclusive for the field.
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