Life In Front Of A TV Camera...

Posted: July 11, 2016, 8:18 pm by bmiller

Meteorologist, a specialist who studies processes in the earth's atmosphere that cause weather conditions. Well, that's what I went to college for, but being a meteorologist on television, that's a different story. "But it's easy" they say, "you just get up in front of the camera, point and read your script". Ahh, comments from my loyal viewers, how they adore their local TV meteorologist.

So, after 12 years as a broadcast meteorologist in Charleston, SC, I am back in the Northeast and forecasting weather in the private sector here at WeatherWorks. It definitely has had it's challenges this past winter, not to mention, I haven't had to forecast much snow and ice while living in the south. Now granted, I did grow up in central New Jersey before moving to the Poconos in my teens, so I have seen my fair share of winter weather including the Superstorm of 1993. The question I get now is, what are the differences between forecasting weather for TV and forecasting at WeatherWorks? The biggest change for me was briefing our WeatherWorks clients on the phone before, during, and even after a weather event. The level of detail our clients expect and how it affects their personal business operations is far more in-depth than that of TV. Conversely, I would rarely talk on the phone to our TV viewers and our only real contact with them was on social media and public station appearances. While it was nice to "get noticed" while outside of the TV station, it also had its drawbacks. There were times when I would maybe have to run out for some diapers at midnight and just didn't want to chat with a person that recognized me. And by the way, your local TV meteorologist is not reading a script and he or she really did prepare that weather forecast along with all the pretty graphics you see. As for the "green screen" that a lot of folks ask about, it's called the chroma key wall. Basically, the weather graphic is superimposed on the wall with the meteorologist in front of it. If you were watching the newscast from the studio, the meteorologist would be pointing to a blank wall, but there are several monitors nearby, so he or she can see where they are pointing.

Severe weather is always a challenge on television, as viewers tune in for the latest on warnings because it is live and they are getting the most up to the minute information. One aspect of TV weather I won't miss, are the nasty comments that we would get during severe weather because a warning is scrolling across the screen while viewers are trying to watch a certain show on your channel. Finally, to answer another popular question, yes, I did wear makeup and I put it on myself. In fact, my wife would get jealous that I would wear more expensive makeup than she did, mainly because it was special HD makeup. Anyway, I look forward to talking with our many clients in the future and if you catch me on the phone while I'm covering your area, feel free to ask me anything else about my previous life in front of a TV camera............and you're clear!!!

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