Isobars, fronts and Godzilla: Inside the creative mind of Joe Snedeker

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Another key part of WNEP’s weather storytelling toolset is quite literally outside the box — or, perhaps more accurately, outside the building: its outdoor weather studio.

Dubbed “The Backyard,” the landscaped patio-style area sits just outside the newsroom at the edge of a cliff. It is as large as some stations’ main studios and is used to present most of the station’s weather forecasts — rain or shine — except in cases where it would be too dangerous to present the weather from outside.

In those cases, as well as for some other weather related content, the station’s weather office, an alcove of the newsroom, stands in as a weather set.

WNEP was one of the first stations in the country to present its weather from outside on a regular basis, and even though other stations have added “weather patios” or rooftop weather, WNEP is probably the most dedicated to using the setup, says Snedeker.

In fact, the station doesn’t even have its forecasters join the anchors on the studio set, instead using the magic of TV to create a simulated toss shot between the studio and outdoors.

Having the outdoor weather studio, which includes a chroma key wall hidden inside of a shed-like structure, is another key part of how the station’s forecasters, including Snedeker, tell the story of weather.


This arrangement places forecasters in the midst of current conditions. If it’s raining, they carry an umbrella, and in cold weather they wear a heavy coat.

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