There's more to it than just showing up 5 minutes before the newscast! We show up hours before to pour through the latest data (some of which you can see if you click on "forecast links" above, as well as some pictures below). Every forecaster has their own personal variations on their TV routine, but here's what I do....... I hope it gives you some insight into my job.
We completely make our own forecast from scratch, looking at all the data, and that takes at least an hour or more. Usually we've been looking at the data from home on the internet before we even get to work, so we get a bit of a headstart.... there's lots and lots of data to look(below) Computer model images and data
After making our forecast for the entire state of
Next, we have lots of "busywork" to do... we record forecasts for several radio stations, type them up for newspapers, update the forecasts on the WMUR weather webpage, and update them in the newscast scripts.
Finally, we need to get ourselves ready to be on TV!!! That means going to the dressing room and putting on TV make-up (yeah, even men wear make-up in TV, let's keep that our little secret, OK?) Then we have to get dressed up in our suit and tie (or a nice outfit for women), do our hair, etc. Then come back and put on our wireless microphone and IFB! An IFB is a little speaker that we wear in our ear so that the producers can talk to us while we're on the air. Most of the time, they are telling us how much time we have left in our weathercast. It's not easy to be talking on the air and also listening to what the producers tell us at the same time!
Finally, we walk over to the anchor desk or step in front of the "blue wall"... that's what I'm standing in front of in the picture below. When we stand in front of the "blue wall", the equipment in the control room magically takes anything that is blue and puts our weathermaps over it, so it appears that we're standing in front of a map. Therefore, anything that is blue turns into a map, so we can't wear anything that is blue or that part of our BODY will turn into a map too! Since we're not really standing in front of the maps, we have to look at a TV to the side of us to see what we're pointing at... it's an interesting skill to learn to do, but after a while you get the hang of it. Also, we have NO SCRIPTS when we're on TV, we completely ad-lib our forecast based on the maps we're standing in front of. Ever tried to talk for 3 minutes straight without a scripts and without saying, "ah" or "um"? Not as easy as it sounds! It's made even harder since we have producers talking to us in our ear while we're talking!
In front of the "Blue Wall"
(Above) camera is aimed at me, you can see the prompter on the front of it.
(below) TV monitor off to the side that we look at to see the maps so that we can point to them.
(Below) The WMUR broadcast studio
(Above) The StormWatch 9 Weather anchor desk (We
affectionately call it the "Weather Pod"). Behind it is a giant
72 inch plasma TV..... to the right you can see the weather office, where we
put together the forecast..
Since most of our shows are several hours long, especially all of our morning shows, we are going non-stop! Each half hour block usually has us make 2 to 4 on-air appearances. Since weekday and weekend morning shows are usually at least 2 hours long, that means a lot of times that we have to go on the air and do forecasts over and over... sometimes it's tough to make each one interesting and different from the last! What do we do with the time in between shows? Take a rest, get a bite to eat, then get ready to do it all over again!!! Or if there's "active" weather happening, we monitor it very carefully, ready to jump on the air if necessary.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to E-mail them to me... I get hundreds of them and do my best to answer as man of them as I can.