AI in weather forecasting, prediction and communication
Being a strategist at The Weather Company, I use Design Thinking fueled by client discussions where I seek out needs, pain points, and most importantly, opportunities. That all comes together by more Design Thinking exercises that culminate ideas to solutions that can help drive client revenue. One such solution that was recently announced is Max Velocity. This blog series will explain this broadcast video storytelling tool, its practical use cases, and client feedback as it evolves.
It seems like weather information is everywhere–on my refrigerator, in my Facebook newsfeed, on my counter courtesy of Alexa, as a widget on my desktop, built into my mobile phone … I mean, what is the metaverse anyway? Another challenge is that TV broadcasters are dealing with an onslaught of fierce new competitors. These competitors want your viewers’ time. How is a local TV station going to contend with competitors that measure revenue in the billions?
Local TV stations have something the big guys don’t have and never will. They have local knowledge. Safe to say, compared to a big search engine company or social media companies, broadcasters work at the edge. They intimately know their regions. Their employees live in the neighborhoods they’re reporting on and they can add context to a weather forecast that viewers cannot find elsewhere.
Having local knowledge and trust is the ”superpower” of broadcasters and it needs to be better leveraged to stay competitive in a world that is fighting for people’s attention and time, but they need the tools to do so. Broadcasters have limited time as it is. They need solutions that integrate easily within their workflow and allow them to tell their stories from anywhere and not only tell the story, but go to where the story is, which again, competitors cannot do at scale.
Also, meteorologists are not the only storytellers. A TV station could and should tap other resources within their newsroom or spotters, experts, and most importantly, sponsors. This multiplies your storytelling scale, which means an easy-to-use weather and news video production solution is needed.
Max Velocity is delivering new workflows that move to the edge and meet the requirements mentioned above. This video storytelling tool can really change how and what kind of content gets created. It’s not about creating a few weather updates every day. The digital world thrives on fresh and frequent content and this product can deliver just that.
Unlike appointment TV, digital viewers expect more content and there is an opportunity to do more in-depth coverage. Max Velocity is designed for not only turning content around at the speed of thought, but also changing the way you do your storytelling, using scaled-down control-room features built into the product. Max Velocity also makes it easier to bring in external presenters; this can fundamentally change the weathercast and allow you to reimagine how you tell your stories.
Let’s take a deeper look at these new Max Velocity workflows from our clients’ perspective.
Weather at a broader scale
Justin Gehrts, Senior Weather Producer/Meteorologist for Digital at Spectrum Networks, says, “Sometimes, meteorologists are tasked with giving context to a weather story happening outside their DMA. Max Velocity will let us quickly create a video for our digital offerings without needing to tie up a primary Max graphics box to create special graphics. Having the most commonly used data right there in a web browser–with the option to bring in supplemental content–will make that much easier. Spending less time on production means more time to give thought to how to craft the story more effectively.”
Albert Martinez, Chief Meteorologist at Univision, says, “If there is one thing that meteorologists do on a daily basis, it is to talk about weather, but many times the minute inside the newscast rundown is too short for what we want to tell. There are a lot of situations in which our audience would be receptive to much more weather information, analysis, explanations, curiosities, in a more direct and informal way, sometimes with experts or also with people from our community. Keep the AR and big explainers for the newscast but then continue to feed your audience.
Max Velocity can make this happen and turn our day-to-day routine into a smooth workflow. Forget having to go through the complexities of live connections and coordination through control rooms, satellites, and LiveU. You only need an internet connection, a browser, a webcam, and yourself with the desire to talk about weather, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes or any other topic: sports, crime, construction, elections … any area can benefit from the power, flexibility, and ease of use of Max Velocity. Great tool if it’s well used, think outside the box.”