We have not posted much. The reason it was so quiet around here during the past week? Well, it was two-fold. I was conducting research on how to put together a better forecast for you at home and my good friend, Mike Lederer, got married.
West Philadelphia, born and raised
Okay, well Mike isn’t from West Philly. Neither am I. But the theme from The Frsh Prince of Bel-Air is always what comes to mind when I visit Philly. This was the third time I’ve traveled to Philadelphia and on the previous two I’ve played that song en route. This was the first time, though, that I’ve visited in the age of camera phones that can take a decent picture.
So, I took a few pics.
Below is an album of pictures from a Chinese Lantern Festival, the outside of the Rodin Museum, and a shot or three from the Rocky statue outside of the Art Museum.
The weather wasn’t ideal for tourist activities, but Philly is still a cool town. I recommend everyone visit. We tried to go to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and some other historical sites, but the lines were miles long due to the holiday weekend.
Save that for next time!
For those that read this site semi-regularly or follow me on social media, you know I’m always researching something. Climate data, new forecasting models, old notes from school – I’m usually trying to learn or re-learn something all the time.
So I took the time while in Philly to watch the local news. A lot. I wanted to see how a large market, that covers a lot of people, handles a weather forecast on television.
It was interesting.
I watched 6 ABC, CBS 3, NBC 10 and Fox 29. Each station seemed to have a different priority when delivering a forecast. In no particular order, here are some short-hand notes I took during my days of watching:
– A “Accuweather station” with strong Accuweather branding, not sure if they produce their own forecast or just use Accuweather
– A lot of text on graphics, made me read and pay attention in order to get a forecast, I couldn’t just listen
– Say “tracking” a lot
– Weatherbug cameras
– Use a lot of “tell you how to feel” graphics like “Comfort Index” “Best & Worst” of the week
– Call model graphics “Future Weather”
– A “WeatherRate station” with strong WeatheRate branding
– 7 Day forecast scrolls on the bottom of the screen
– Shows road conditions for the next morning, at night
– Call the first weather segment “On Your Radar”
– Lead with weather in the first few minutes
– Very short weather segments
Often times, large market weather is very consultant-driven. There are focus groups and a fair amount of research involved with figuring out what the viewers want to see. So it was interesting that each station was so different in how they produced and delivered a forecast. As an example, some stations showed ocean temperatures and advisories for the coast, while others didn’t even talk about the coast at all.
It was also interesting to note that a lot of the stations differed with the afternoon highs and forecast by up to five degrees.
I did manage to grab some takeaways, though, that I’ll try to incorporate into my own forecasts here in Mississippi. Here are a few:
– Seven day forecasts for multiple cities
– Show ocean temperatures
– Show morning road conditions at night
– Best & Worst of the week
This may be slow to materialize within my television forecasts as I still need to figure out how to work them into my allotted time, but I will effort to get them moving with relative haste.