ASK THE METEOROLOGIST
“How long does it take you to get all the reports, satellite data and other data to do your weather forecasts?
Cameron, Rae Micharson
Love this question! Prepping for our newscasts requires a lot of work and a lot of time. Us meteorologists have to come in hours before we go live in order to forecast, make the graphics and get ready.
I am usually in the weather center a little after 2am. I look at different computer models which show graphical outputs of weather parameters. In other words, these models will show predicted precipitation, areas of low pressure, wind speeds and directions, etc. I also look at these computer models in numerical form ..which is how I can come up with numbers for your 7 day forecast.
To sum it up, every morning these computers help me determine a 7 day forecast of cloud cover, precipitation type and temperatures. Once I have written down your forecast, I then insert it into our weather graphics that we show you on air! This is used with a program we call WSI. Believe it or not, this program is very intuitive and it’s very simple to re-enter temperatures daily and switch weather icons (maybe from rain to mostly cloudy, etc.). In this program I can choose which graphics I would like to show over the air and in whatever order I please!
All of this requires quite a lot of prep time, as I mentioned. We typically will get in around 2 o’clock (morning or night) to prep for a 5 o’clock newscast!