Weatherscan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Weatherscan
Weatherscan logo 2005.png
Weatherscan logo used since September 2005
LaunchedMarch 31, 1999 (1999-03-31)
(as Weatherscan Local)
February 2003 (2003-02)
(as Weatherscan)
Owned byNBCUniversal
Blackstone Group
Bain Capital
Picture format480i (SDTV)
SloganAll Local, All The Time
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Broadcast areaNationwide (in select areas)
HeadquartersAtlanta, Georgia
Formerly calledWeatherscan Local (1999–2003)
Sister channel(s)The Weather Channel
WebsiteTWC webpage
Availability
Satellite
Dish NetworkCheck local listings for channels
Cable
Available on certain U.S. cable systemsConsult your local cable provider for channel availability
IPTV
Verizon FiOSChannel 49
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Weatherscan
Weatherscan logo 2005.png
Weatherscan logo used since September 2005
LaunchedMarch 31, 1999 (1999-03-31)
(as Weatherscan Local)
February 2003 (2003-02)
(as Weatherscan)
Owned byNBCUniversal
Blackstone Group
Bain Capital
Picture format480i (SDTV)
SloganAll Local, All The Time
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Broadcast areaNationwide (in select areas)
HeadquartersAtlanta, Georgia
Formerly calledWeatherscan Local (1999–2003)
Sister channel(s)The Weather Channel
WebsiteTWC webpage
Availability
Satellite
Dish NetworkCheck local listings for channels
Cable
Available on certain U.S. cable systemsConsult your local cable provider for channel availability
IPTV
Verizon FiOSChannel 49

Weatherscan (alternately known as The Weather Channel Weatherscan) is an American digital cable and satellite television network that is owned as a joint venture between NBCUniversal, and private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. A spinoff of The Weather Channel, Weatherscan features uninterrupted local weather information in graphical format on a continuous loop that is generated by an IntelliStar unit installed at the cable provider's headend; unlike The Weather Channel, Weatherscan does not feature on-air talent of any kind.

Overview[edit]

The channel launched on March 31, 1999 as Weatherscan Local. Originally, Weatherscan operated five collective services for local weather information: Weatherscan Local features animated weather information with a complete local weather segment every two minutes; Weatherscan Radar featured a continuous Doppler radar loop, along with severe weather advisories when warranted; Weatherscan Plus – which debuted on April 30, 1999 – featured activity-specific forecasts for golf, skiing, boating, beachgoing and business and leisure travel; Weatherscan Plus Traffic – which launched on May 31, 1999 – featured the same format as Weatherscan Plus with the inclusion of traffic information; Weatherscan Espanol, which launched with Weatherscan Plus Traffic, was a Spanish-language version of Weatherscan Plus allowing regional or international weather information.[1]

The IntelliStar unit used by Weatherscan is configured differently from that used by The Weather Channel, featuring different graphics and additional forecast products, with information running on a continuous basis. Vocal Local, a pre-recorded narration function installed in the IntelliStar system – which utilizes a different narration track than that used on The Weather Channel's Local on the 8s forecast segments, featuring a female announcer – introduces several of the segments.

Weatherscan is available in many major markets around the United States, though its availability is not as widespread as that of parent network The Weather Channel. Many cable providers offer Weatherscan on their digital tiers, although a few providers carry Weatherscan on their basic tier (where The Weather Channel is also offered). In 2011, Dish Network became the first satellite provider to add Weatherscan.

Products[edit]

Weatherscan displays variety of forecast products that show different types of weather information, some of which are not included on certain providers.

Segment titleDescription
Local ForecastUsed by all providers carrying the service, the segment provides local weather data, including the current weather observations, a local radar loop and a five-day forecast. This segment is mainly used for one city, but in some markets, the forecast segments incorporate multiple cities.
Local RadarA one-minute continuous loop of Doppler radar imagery over the course of three hours.
Airport ConditionsThis segment, which is available in most markets, shows flight arrival and departure delays, and weather conditions for up to four airports within the headend's service area; a list of delays for major airports throughout the United States is also included.
Travel ForecastAvailable in most markets, this segment features forecast maps for the surrounding region and a three-day travel forecast for select U.S. cities.
International ForecastA segment displaying the forecasted weather conditions and temperatures for select cities around the world.
Weather and Your HealthThis segment features health-related forecasts for the area, including air quality, pollen and ultraviolet indexes; during the summer months, a slide illustrating safety information while in the sun is also displayed.
Ski and Snow
(seasonal)
This segment displays snowfall forecasts and current skiing conditions (including present snowpack and snow density information) for select ski resorts throughout the country.
Golf Forecast
(seasonal)
This segment provides weather information for area golf courses and resorts within the area, as well as a golf index (gauging the forecast's impact on golfing activity) and a "tee time forecast" segment.
Garden
(seasonal)
Carried on only a few headends, this segment contains information for lawn and gardening activities, and includes maps showing forecasted precipitation amounts and drought severity.
Boat and Beach
(seasonal)
Available only in coastal locations, this segment displays marine forecasts, tidal information and forecasted surfing conditions.

From 1999 during the early 2000s, when the channel's segments were generated mainly by WeatherStar XL systems, five different products could be chosen for display.[2]

Weatherscan timeline[edit]

Note: "Domestic IntelliStar" refers to STARs that output content for The Weather Channel.

DateNotes
March 31, 1999Weatherscan Local debuts, showing only a two-minute local forecast in a repetitive fashion. Only one song was used for each segment, a two-minute cut of "TSLF-01" (named by The Weather Channel as "Fair Weather") by Trammell Starks.
Late 2000
  • Weatherscan Local receives a graphical revamp. With the changes, the weather icons are no longer animated, rendering them in a static display.
  • New products are added to several Weatherscan-powered WeatherStar XLs nationwide, including health, airport and Spanish language forecasts. Some XL systems were reported to still show only the local forecast segments in a continuous loop.
  • An entire album of Trammell Starks music is now played instead of just "Fair Weather". Some Weatherscan-powered XL systems did not receive this update until late 2002.
  • Vocal Local narration also debuts, voiced by TWC staff announcer Allen Jackson (who provides narration for the Vocal Local function played during The Weather Channel's "Local on the 8s" segments), but only two segments had incorporated narration at the time: the current conditions ("your current conditions") and for the 36-Hour Forecast ("the forecast for your area"), but sometimes an unknown announcer would read the 36-hour forecast segment.
2001Forecast data for Weatherscan Local's local forecasts begin to be sourced directly from The Weather Channel, instead of the National Weather Service. This change occurred on Weatherscan Local earlier than the WeatherStar systems used on TWC.
February 2003[3]
  • Weatherscan Local begins beta testing of the IntelliStar system, about six months prior to The Weather Channel commencing testing of the domestic IntelliStar systems. Most areas did not see the upgrade until late 2003 or early 2004, however. This brought with it a major upgrade to the channel's visual presentation.
  • As part of the channel's rebrand as simply Weatherscan, the channel unveils a new graphics package, using Frutiger as the principal typeface. The weather icons once again become animated.
  • A "severe weather mode" was added to Weatherscan during this upgrade. After a warning tone is heard, a weather ticker appears at the bottom of the screen, the yellow and blue color scheme changes to red and gray, with the local forecast being the only product shown, as well as a ticker message saying "Weatherscan gives you this special message because of severe weather in your area".
  • The Vocal Local narration by Allen Jackson is replaced by a narration track by Amy Bargeron.
Early-mid August 2004
  • The local radar is enhanced, showing additional major roads within a given area on the radar imagery, and city identifiers that are closer to the domestic IntelliStars.
  • The local radar imagery now shows the precipitation's movement within the past three hours instead of two.
  • An error that causes the music function to skip on the Weatherscan-powered STARs is fixed.
February 17, 2005
  • The descriptive forecast segment is revised to show forecasted weather conditions for the next 48 hours, starting with the current or pending daypart.
  • While in the severe weather mode, Weatherscan now shows only the local radar imagery, weather bulletins (if a weather watch or statement is issued), and the special weather message.
  • The severe weather message is changed to "Weatherscan/<Insert cable Headend here> brings you this message because of severe weather in your area."
July 2005A "traffic report" segment is added to Weatherscan-powered IntelliStar systems in major markets such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Atlanta, with local traffic conditions for certain metropolitan areas provided by Traffic Pulse.
  • A one-minute long local radar segment is added to Weatherscan-powered STARs nationwide.
September 27, 2005
  • Weatherscan receives a graphical overhaul in accordance with the rollout of The Weather Channel's new logo and graphics package. This iteration has the same aesthetics and features as the previous look, although now featuring an "L-bar" which shows instant information to viewers, similar in vein to that used by the now-defunct NBC Weather Plus. Current conditions, extended forecasts, local radar imagery, and area weather observations are now shown constantly on-screen (areas that were in the path of Hurricane Rita path received this graphical update about a week earlier).
  • Additional narration tracks are added to Weatherscan, including on the local radar and traffic segments.
April 2006HiRAD technology is introduced on some Weatherscan-powered IntelliStar systems.
December 12, 2006
  • New weather icons debut in accordance with their rollout on The Weather Channel and the weather.com website.
  • The gradients on the squeezeback section are modified to match the new icons.
March 11, 2010The weather icons change once again to more realistic icons, switching to a variant of the 2006 design.
December 8, 2010The traffic information segment is discontinued after The Weather Channel is unable to renew its contract with Traffic Pulse.

National/satellite feed[edit]

When Weatherscan Local debuted in 1999, the channel maintained a national feed that was used for satellite and smaller cable providers that could not afford a secondary and more technologically advanced WeatherStar system to use for a local Weatherscan feed. The national feed, branded as simply Weatherscan, ran current temperatures and extended forecasts for select cities throughout the United States, as well as national and regional radar images. There is uncertainty as to whether or not the national version was discontinued; however, since Weatherscan Local simplified its name to "Weatherscan" in 2003, it is likely that the national feed was discontinued during or around that time.

A new Weatherscan feed launched in July 2011 for Dish Network subscribers, replacing the short-lived service The Weather Cast that had been founded as a replacement for The Weather Channel as a result of a May 2010 carriage dispute with the satellite provider; the Weatherscan feed provides regionalized information for cities within 125 miles of a given area, and is delivered in the same manner as the Weatherscan systems on cable providers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]