What is it like working with AccuWeather?

May 8, 2008 6:07:15 AM PDT
article| David Murphy| It's like having your own fully staffed, 24-hour-a-day weather forecasting center, working just for you, every day, every night. I receive my own meteorological discussion and updates from my own group of daily forecasters who are constantly analyzing local, national and global weather patterns around-the-clock. In fact, AccuWeather brings in a new shift of meteorologists for every broadcast period who overlap so that the forecast is constantly reviewed, tweaked and handed off from team to team. What emerges is a crystalized, thoughful forecast that's actually the result of many hands and points of view. Most industry insiders will tell you that the more brains you have working on a forecast, the better the forecast tends to be. This is because meteorology is not an exact science and relies on a thorough consideration of many variables. Often, a single forecaster will have a given leaning or tendency with any given set of data that a second or third may not. With AccuWeather's team approach, a crystalized forecast emerges born of many different perspectives and forecast experiences. And once the forecast is delivered here to Action News, the team approach continues. Our in-house meteorologists have developed a system of information sharing which encourages and values the personal opinions of our own staff in fine tuning the final forecast that ends up on the air. It's yet another layer of review and discussion that helps make our forecast more thorough and thoughtful than what you'll often get elsewhere. And before I forget, here's another thing: AccuWeather employs specialists who concentrate on separate elements of meteorology, from tropical weather to kinetic relationships in energy upstream that can affect our weather in the days and even weeks and months ahead. This is the sort of expertise that does not enter into most local weather forecasts, but you benefit from it when you watch Action News. Add to this the advanced technological systems in-house at Channel 6 (like Storm Tracker 6 Live HD)and you have a pretty impressive system at work here. As you'd expect, I'm happy to be a part of it. The best thing for me, though, is the culture of forecasting that's developed here, largely thanks to our in-house dean of local weathercasting, Dave Roberts. No matter how advanced we've become in technology and expertise, Dave has always demanded that above all, we serve our viewers. This means presenting a straight-forward, honest, direct forecast. A mistake a lot of television meteorologists make is putting their own image ahead of the forecast. They get way too technical as they try to "wow" you with language and graphics that are so technical and off-point, they confuse the story they're trying to tell. Here, we put the forecast and our viewers first. We try to give it to you straight, in a way that's clear and concise. We warn of any weather-related dangers, but we work against the tendency of many in our industry to needlessly hype the weather or to make it more complicated than it needs to be. In fact, that's one reason I started this Weather Class web page: to get a little more technical for those of you who want to explore the weather more deeply. Many of you have told me over the years that you appreciate our efforts and that you trust us. This is something we don't take lightly. Each day, our aim is to earn it anew.

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