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Meteorologist Geoff Fox forecasts the weather in Nebraska without leaving his Southern California garage.
“That’s what I do,” Fox told TVSpy. “When it comes to weather, the window is overvalued as a forecast tool.” Of course, the window he’s talking about is the one you look out of to see what it’s like outside.
Fox is a veteran of local TV. He’s worked at WTNH and WTIC Hartford, Conn., and, most recently, at KMIR in Palm Springs, Calif., and is now mastering the art of the hyper-local broadcast with his forecasts for News Channel Nebraska, a string of stations serving small towns in the Cornhusker State.
Fox is able to be a stay-at-home forecaster through the wonders of NewTek’s TriCaster which allows him to record his forecasts in his garage and stream them out to the stations. NewTek describes the TriCaster as a “fully integrated, turnkey production system.”
We asked him about the TriCaster and what it’s like to forecast for an area so far away.
TVSpy: Can you talk about programming the TriCaster?
Fox: As with most things done on a regular basis there is a format for my weather casts. They start with an animated intro/sounder and end at the forecast pages. Maps are in the middle. The maps change with each weather cast.
I run the entire show on the TriCaster using macros. That means I am my own director. I cue each element with a SHOUT controller. TriCaster’s macro language allows you to replicate the keystrokes a live director would follow. I segregate the changeable elements from the static ones. That makes it very easy for me to modify shows to match weather conditions. The animation and forecast pages remain unaffected while I switch maps in and out.
TVSpy: Is it weird for you to forecast weather for a station thousands of miles away?
Fox: No, it’s not. I expect Nebraska’s weather will be more active than Palm Springs and sometimes more harsh than Connecticut, but I’m using the same guidance in the same way to reach a forecast decision. And, the amount of weather data available today on a real time basis is mind boggling. I like what I do very much. I like it even better when my forecast is right. No one has to motivate me. Getting it right is part of the fun. I also have a useful skill, probably common in meteorologists. After so many years of watching weather intently, I know what most temperature/dew point/wind combinations feel like. That helps me explain the weather, which is so much more than numbers.
Here’s a shot of what he calls “the coolest” garage, ever.