|BROADCAST METEOROLOGY FUTURE
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
In this final posting on broadcast meteorology we take a look into the future of weather broadcasting. Just like a long
term weather forecast, future tendencies are not for certain and the more specific one gets then the more difficult it is
to make a correct prediction. This writing will focus mostly on general tendencies but will also include some specifics.
Computer technology, computer speed, and availability of information will all continue to increase rapidly in the future. Computerized
weather forecasts and weather data will continue to expand as a resource of weather information that people get. There will be more
of an emphasis for watching TV broadcasts online and using online eyewear. Short recordings of online weather forecasts from weather
broadcasters will be popular for the general public. Instead of watching the entire weather broadcast, viewers will have the
option to view the online recording for the current weather, forecast for the next 24 hours and/or the extended forecast.
Radio weather broadcasts and televised weather broadcasts will continue to be followed resources of weather information by the general
public in local markets. An emphasis on local weather, hearing/seeing a weather authority and the ease of getting weather
information from a person will continue to be important reasons why people will continue to tune into these weather resources.
However, social media, online weather postings, smart phone apps and online broadcasts will continue to expand as places
that many people get weather information. Thus, a weather broadcaster will more heavily provide information for these resources
in addition to their radio and television shows.
Improvements to forecast model accuracy and speed will continue. It will become more and more difficult for a human to significantly
outperform these computerized forecasts. Forecast accuracy will increase and extended forecasts will be more reliable. The explanatory
value and personality of a human explaining the weather and the weather forecast will continue to be important to the general public.
Thus, computers replacing human TV broadcasters is not in the cards just yet. However, there will be a rise in the popularity of
computer animated graphical people (computerized digital avatar) that can deliver online weathercasts when provided with the typical
weather data that a weather broadcaster uses. Over time, these will become more and more sophisticated. The digital avatar
weathercasts can be updated continually as new weather data comes in.
Additional future possibilities and expansions of technology include:
1) increased sophistication of 3-D viewing
2) increased availability and immediate availability of severe weather footage
3) smart phones, smart watches, and smart eyewear replacing weather radios and sirens as the primary means of disseminating warnings
4) weather forecasts will be updated more frequently since forecast model runs will be updated more frequently.