High-tech equipment surrounds the meteorologists throughout the room. Moving around the room clockwise, the computer on the left is used to type weather advisories and school closing information to go on the air instantly. The next computer is like all the others in the building. The meteorologists use this to communicate with others and check the news rundowns for information on where their forecast fits within each newscast. The next 2 computers are simply used to download data for weather conditions in the area.
Next is the most important computer in the room- the LIVE STORMTRACKER 6 DOPPLER RADAR is continuously updated on this machine. This computer is used to track storm movements, zoom in on them using street-level mapping and take cross-section analysis of storms to see what's happening on the inside.
To the right are 2 computers used to build the weather graphics and animation you see on TV. All of the maps need to be built each day, showing the weather conditions and the movement of storm systems. The meteorologists build their entire sequence to match what they'll be talking about when on-air.
These computers are the source for all of the maps you see on TV. The maps are taken from these computers and “inserted” behind the meteorologists in the studio, but they don't physically exist behind them (For more information on this special effect, see “Studio.”
The printer to the right of these computers is used to receive maps and information from the National Weather Service. Finally, the last computer is used to run high-resolution forecasts for mid-Michigan. It constantly receives data from around the world and uses that information to produce a 24-hour simulation of local weather.