In A Demo During Storm Of "Worst Case Scenaraio", The Reporter Stands Calm. What's Her Secret?

In A Demo During Storm Of "Worst Case Scenaraio", The Reporter Stands Calm. What

In A Demo During Storm Of "Worst Case Scenaraio", The Reporter Stands Calm. What's Her Secret? 

New Delhi: If the storm surge reaches the height of a basketball hoop, it stops resembling ordinary water. It is more like an ominous, insurmountable wall, which has enough force to lift 3,000-pound cars, flatten neighborhoods and leave a landscape of devastation in its wake.

Meteorologist Erika Navarro, however, seems very calm, even when a liquid barrier behind her dwarfs her 5-foot 2-inch frame. But there is a secret. And that is, that the water is virtual, and Navarro only appears to be on the verge of being swallowed whole.
  
The warning from Weather Channel meteorologist says, "Once we get to that nine-foot range, this is an absolute life-threatening scenario. If you find yourself here, please get out!"

This is the future of meteorological broadcasting.

The videos like Navarro's are known as "immersive mixed reality technology," and they take green screen graphics and merge them with real-time, predictive data from agencies such as the National Hurricane Center. And what it can produce is terrifying realism of a virtual scenario that unfolds around a studio anchor. 

With the warnings of storm surgings along the North Carolina coast increasing rapidly this week, the Weather Channel used the tool to show viewers how that surge might affect a typical neighborhood in a "reasonable worst-case scenario."

Vice President of design in Weather Channel, Michael Potts, who leads the team creating the channel's new IMR content, said he believes mixed reality is the future of weather presentation. The goal is to engage and entertain viewers, he said, but the underlying message is unmistakably sober.

Potts pointed out that roughly half of all U.S. deaths from tropical cyclones are the result of the storm surge, and said, "This is lifesaving information we're trying to convey, and we wanted to do it in a way that creates a very visceral response in viewers. We wanted to paint a real picture for people and show that anywhere in America, this could be your neighborhood."

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According to Potts, people are using the channel's surge videos as "a warning tool," one that has resulted in some of the highest engagement on social media that they've ever seen.

This IMR technology made its debut in the Weather Channel in June with a video depicting a hyper-realistic tornado. With sirens blaring in the background, an impromptu science lesson from on-camera meteorologist Jim Cantore turns into a death-defying drama as the storm tosses cars and downs power lines before eventually destroying the Weather Channel studio while Cantore seeks shelter.

While talking the The Washington Post in June, Nora Zimmet, the senior vice president of content and programming for the company said, "I watched hours of rehearsals and still flinched when the car dropped from the ceiling. To see the culmination of six months of front-line work appear on screen as an Immersive Mixed Reality experience emphasizes that the Weather Channel is the leader in groundbreaking technology."

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Last month, The Weather channel followed up with the debut of a segment exploring the dangers of lightning. The virtual graphics, created in a new studio at the channel's Atlanta headquarters, were produced using the same suite of tools used by video game developers.

The channel is transforming its daily operations of weather presentation, said Potts. The content writers of the channel are aiming to include IMR technology in 80 percent of its programming by 2020.

He said, as far as television programming is concerned, the weather remains a fairly steady series of reoccurring episodes. But that doesn't mean those who cover it have to be predictable as well.

"Pretty soon this technology will be part of your standard forecast," Potts said. "From our studio in downtown Atlanta, we'll be able to take you all over the world."

(Inputs From News Agencies)

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