Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Severe What?

We had the promise of severe weather today in Denver. It was cool enough outside and with just enough instability in the atmosphere, I thought for sure we would have a very fun afternoon here at the station. Not to mention, the clouds were beginning to look crazy outside. With the strange colored sky and the way the afternoons have looked the past few days, I was thinking today we might be in luck.

When severe weather occurs, the 7News Weather Center can become slightly chaotic. It begins with the warning being issued from the National Weather Service. It alerts us with a little siren coming from the computer. At that point we can either write a Ticker or a Crawl. A Ticker is what flips up on the bottom of the screen using two lines. A Crawl is a one line sentence that travels across the bottom of the screen. The pressure is on to spell everything correctly and have the correct grammar because it is sent straight to our control room to be put on air as soon as possible without going through a spell check. After the Ticker or Crawl shows up on air we continue to watch the computer and make sure that we update the information as needed. On top of that, we have the website to keep up to date. As stressful as this whole process sounds, it really a huge adrenaline rush. The most important thing when severe weather occurs is to keep the viewers as informed as possible. During the newscast, if an update comes up, we print off the warning and slide it to Mike with hopefully no viewers noticing. It's really nice when Chris Spears is here since he has so much experience he keeps the whole situation under control and helps keep Mike informed with the most up to date information when he is on air.

Today was not so lucky, most of the exciting weather ended up staying south and not hitting Denver as hard as we forecast...oh well, maybe next time!


Larry said...

It seems that weather 7 is pretty much on the mark with forecast accuracy and potential weather threats. The "why" becomes obvious when given insight into the internal processes and behind the scenes activities. Internship programs are a great way to insure that this knowledge is handed off to the next generation of meteorologists. Thanks for sharing your experiences and I look forward to reading more about the operations of your first class weather center. Thanks Hallie!

Nancy from Evergreen said...

Just as have sensed for some time... Mike's a teacher at the core! You are fortunate to have been chosen to work alongside him and the other colleagues at DenverChannel. I am impressed with your enthusiasm, positive attitude and desire for accuracy. Keep up the good work. We will keep watching!!

Nancy from Evergreen said...

I am always impressed with Denver Channel's way of sending along the weather news! I even get to 'say so' and that is a thrill. You are doing well in your 'crawls' and 'tickers'. It's no surprise that 7News has found 3 articulate and enthusiastic interns. You keep me excited about the weather with your own contagious exhuberance. Just as I have sensed all along, Mike is a teacher at the core. You are fortunate, indeed, to have been chosen to work with him and his colleagues.