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Atmosphere Academy: StormTrack 3 gets a new look

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Weather forecasting has changed by leaps and bounds in the past few years. It's now time for broadcast technology to change with it.

For five months, WWAY has been planning a new state-of-the-art weather center. It's essentially a rebuilding from the ground up, with the latest technology for TV, the web and mobile devices. You'll notice the new look right away: clean, vibrant high definition maps, photo realistic graphics, 3D environments.

But the biggest change will be the improvements in forecast accuracy. Computer models rely on grid points to analyze weather features. Increase the number of grid points, you increase the accuracy. Introducing Futurecast 3.0, which gives you modelling resolution down to four kilometers, showing you which communities may experience storms days in advance.

And remember: fine details like terrain can have huge implications on precipitation forecasts, especially during the winter. All of our products are now built on a virtual earth that allows us to adjust for terrain variation, to give you unmatched detail in temperature forecasts and better storm tracking.

Speaking of storms, our new storm tracking tools allow us to clearly label and define storms based on type with street level, tracking, clearly showing which storms are severe, where they are headed, and provide detailed analysis such as tornado formation probability, hot spots for hail, and up to the minute rainfall estimates.

And these changes are really just the beginning. Later this month, we'll be announcing a brand new resource that will change the way you receive forecasts online and on your mobile devices.

These changes required a tremendous amount of training by our staff, but over the next few months, I think you will see a much better product evolve. However, nothing beats experience, and the best computers in the world are nothing without an experienced forecaster on duty. Our weather team has more than 17 years forecasting experience right here in southeastern North Carolina, and when severe weather threatens, you'll always get our best effort.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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