Meteorologist Larry Mowry uses graphics to focus his weather storytelling

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In addition to the Max software, Mowry and the other WLS meteorologists have access to the station’s own dual polarity S-Band doppler radar, known as “Live Doppler 7 Max” on air.

The data from that radar is fed into Max and can be shown on air in a variety of representations, which is especially key during severe weather situations.

“The moments when you can show the viewers a live picture of a storm coming their direction, it heightens the severity of the situation. This creates more of an immediacy with the viewer that says to them they really do need to take this storm seriously and act to protect their family.”

When severe weather hits, stations often go all out with wall-to-wall coverage.

During these times, Mowry and his colleagues at the station, which includes Jerry Taft, Cheryl Scott, Tracy Butler and Phil Schwarz, take full advantage of the station’s working weather presentation pod.

Built-in computer terminals allow them to adjust forecasts and see fresh data on the fly, and to make use of the interactive touchscreen monitor behind the set — all while on the air getting vital information out.

The station’s streetside studio, which was overhauled in October 2015, features two flexible standup areas that can also be used for weather reports, including integration with augmented reality graphics.


It’s during this severe weather coverage when it’s most obvious the role a combination of scientific knowledge, experience and technology plays in keeping viewers safe. 

The key ingredient, however, is always human brain power, says Mowry. 

No matter how advanced the technology is, it’s up to meteorologists to flex its limits to get vital weather information to viewers and to tell the weather story better. 

Mowry’s message to other forecasters? “We are the ones who get to create and try new things. Be the one at your station that leads the charge with new technology.”

[focus-on]This article is part of our Focus On Weather. View more from the series here.[/focus-on]

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