Wow! It’s hard to believe it’s that time of the year again as schools all across the country are heading back to school.
I’ve enjoyed browsing through the first shows of the year for many of our SVN schools.
As we continue with our series specializing in the development of school weather broadcasts, this month we’ll be covering the foundation for it all and the content that will be included in your segment.
The toughest part for schools to understand is that they shouldn’t just copy and paste the information from the weather app on their phone into the show. It’s easy to make fun of Meteorologists for not getting the weather correct. But your school could easily turn into that which is why it’s essential to investigate and explore various sources of weather.
The fact of the matter is that the students doing the weather at your school likely won’t be striving to graduate college with a degree in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences* so tools that professionals would use are likely going to be out of the question.
It’s important to recognize that weather sources vary. The weather app on your phone likely gets its information from computer data without a Professional Meteorologist’s input. For example, the worst time to use your phone for this data is during the treat of a rain/ snow mix. Professional Meteorologists have been through years of training and learned how to interpret these situations, something a computer can’t do.
Television tends to be more accurate for that reason; You have a real person on the other side of the display who has interpreted the weather further beyond the computer data.
With that being said, the easiest way to accurately predict the weather is to compare between several different sources. I recommend one source being a phone app (so you can recognize what I mean), two television sources and the National Weather Service as your fourth source. Gather information within a testing period (about 20 days) and analyze who was the most accurate. Note this down.
Now you’re ready to create your first forecast.
1) Review the information from all of your sources
2) Keep track of which sources agree with each other (the more people who endorse it, the better)
3) Consider the forecast that your tested, genuine source is reporting
4) Create your own interpretation of the forecast
Once you do this, don’t stop. Check periodically to see if your weather report was accurate. It’s important to understand that Weather is constantly changing, so there’s no way to accurately predict the weather 100% of the time: however, when you create your five day forecast your accuracy levels should look something like this (the percentages indicate what percent of the time your forecast was correct):
5 Days Out: 65% Correct
4 Days Out: 70% Correct
3 Days Out: 80% Correct
2 Days Out: 85% Correct
1 Day Out/ Today: 95% Correct
If your report isn’t up to par, check your sources and explore changing variables.
The next step is to organize all the data you have collected and mold it into a weather report.
There are several different ways you can present your information. The traditional approach is very linear. Here’s what I mean:
1) Current Conditions
2) Tonight’s Football Game Forecast
3) This Weekend Forecast
4) 5 Day Forecast
This method flows very smoothly in a sequential order. This is easy to follow, but it also makes it easy for viewers to lose attention. The viewers want the big picture and then the details.
There is a new approach to the presentation of information that is much less linear. In a world where patience is little, this method does a great job of getting the main idea across quickly, clearly and concisely. It might look something like this:
1) Start off with Current Conditions
2) Changeover to the 5 Day Forecast
3) On that five day forecast, you point to Friday. As you point on it, click (using your remote or get someone else to click for you) to the next slide which is your Friday Night Football Forecast.
4) Once you’ve expanded on that, you now return to the 5 Day Forecast to continue explaining the rest of the week.
5) Point to Saturday and Sunday. Again, as you point, click to the Weekend Forecast.
This allows viewers to get the big picture from the start of your segment. They see the 5 day forecast. If they want more information, they stay tuned. This helps keep your weather segment brief while still getting the information across.
Next month we’ll be talking about Graphics. This is an essential part to the presentation of your school’s weather department and very challenging for many. Check back next month, we’ll be selling some unique student- friendly graphics packages for you to implement in your school.
As always, I love to hear back from schools about how their Weather System is developing. If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you: [email protected] I also invite you to “like” my professional page on facebook, facebook.com/SFortuneTV.
*If you do have a student with an interest in Meteorology as a career, I’d love to share some tips on how you can utilize their passion for your news show and become even more advanced in the construct of your weather segment: [email protected]