As with the rest of the world, meteorologists had to quickly adjust to safety and health protocols due to COVID-19. Weather does not stop for anything and coming out of winter into spring we had to be prepared for late-season snows and the potential for thunderstorms and severe weather.
Our workstation and weather center are right in the news studio and we often see many people during the day as shows and recordings take place. However, most of that activity slowed down as newsroom staffing adapted to working at home. We also paused staffing two meteorologists per day in the weather center, so suddenly it was a quiet studio with one meteorologist handling the forecasting and live shows. But all four members of the abc27 weather team were quite busy during the mandatory countrywide shutdowns. One meteorologist per day was working from home, remotely connecting into our weather computer systems to create graphics and content. In addition, this person was the immediate fill-in for the worst-case scenario that there would be a COVID-19 exposure/outbreak in our studio/newsroom. We were prepared to stay on-the-air and online with any necessary weather forecasts and information for our viewers!
Perhaps the most interesting transition was moving weekend evening weather (6 & 11 PM) to be exclusively at-home. This was to keep me isolated from coming into the building in case a meteorologist on our team was exposed to or contracted COVID-19. I was also the meteorologist tasked with testing the technology and making it happen on live TV. I ended up using a personal tripod and extra lighting at home to turn my living room into a mini studio. Perhaps the coolest piece of technology was an app that allowed my iPhone to broadcast HD quality video and clear audio back to the studio in real-time. Utilizing this new technology and managing my weather graphics remotely comes with some challenges, however, I am happy to report that we provided each broadcast without any major technical errors! This will certainly be a time in my career that I will never forget, and it is comforting to know that we always have this technology available to help keep our team working in case of any health/safety emergency. Most importantly, we managed as a weather team to have no downtime in our forecasting and broadcasting, while staying safe.
2021 ABC27 Weather Almanac
- Most extreme temperatures in the history of Pennsylvania
- What is the Polar Vortex and how does it affect Central Pa.?
- La Nina brings the possibility of lower temps and above-average precipitation to the Midstate in Feb.
- How the ABC27 Weather Team adjusted in the era of COVID-19 to deliver your Most Accurate Weather Forecast
- June and July are the most active months for severe weather in the Midstate
- What is precipitable water?
- How tropical storms get their names
- July 2020 was the hottest summer on record for Central Pa.
- Feast or famine in the Midstate
- Despite a record tropical season, summer drought worsened for much of Pa.
- Hyperactive tropics of 2020
- Understanding the Jetstream and how it affects bigger storm systems