The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has awarded NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal that includes 40 NBC and Telemundo stations in 28 markets, a 2018 Technology and Engineering national Emmy Award.
It is being honored for pioneering the development of StormRanger or CazaTormentas, a first-of-its-kind mobile X-band weather radar truck for television weather forecasting and reporting.
The award recognizes excellence in engineering, including innovative companies and leaders that are setting new standards for technological excellence in the television industry.
Developed by the NBC and Telemundo owned station group to help boost its meteorologists’ weather forecasting capabilities, the fleet of six StormRanger trucks travel through the stations’ markets, taking the radar directly to the weather for the closest, most detailed view and to show storms other radars simply can’t see. Combined with a cutting edge fixed X-band radar network in Southern California, and high-frequency S-band radars located in the New York, Chicago, South Florida and Dallas-Fort Worth markets, the NBC and Telemundo owned stations have fundamentally improved their capability to detect dangerous weather and deliver life-saving information to their audiences.
“Weather has always been one of the most important things local stations do. As more severe weather events and fires affect the communities we serve, we decided to give our expert meteorologists a boost with exceptional technology,” said Valari Staab, President of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. “I am proud of our teams for reimagining the way that local weather information is detected and delivered. Our work is vital to helping communities stay safe when severe weather threatens.”
First introduced in 2016 with additional radar trucks deployed last year, all StormRangers feature a dual polarization, Doppler, X-band weather radar, as well as real-time video and communications tools. The trucks’ high-resolution radars can scan storms closer to the ground, and better detect snow, light rain, hail, as well as smoke. As a result, meteorologists can provide a more detailed report about atmospheric conditions in their markets to help viewers make important decisions in their day-to-day commutes and in times of severe weather.
In Texas, station meteorologists have used the radar to forecast the development of storm cells minutes before they’re picked up by the existing network of radars. In New England, StormRanger helps the stations get a more detailed view of winter storms including wind direction and the intensity of snow and sleet to help meteorologists deliver a more detailed rush hour weather forecast. In Southern California, StormRanger helps meteorologists distinguish between smoke and smog and their intensity, when wildfires affect the area.
Teams from NBC and Telemundo stations, Accelerated Media Technologies (AMT), and Enterprise Electronics Corporation (EEC) collaborated to design and build the StormRanger trucks. EEC provided the radar and AMT completed the assembly.
NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ division multi-year, multi-million dollar commitment to substantially improve NBC and Telemundo stations local weather forecasting follows a series of investments made by NBCUniversal in all of its NBC and Telemundo stations to help the local teams better serve their English and Spanish-speaking audiences.
NBCUniversal’s investment in the stations has resulted in the boosting of newsrooms through local news expansions, hiring of journalists and newsroom staff, introduction of new investigative and consumer teams and digital/mobile platforms, as well as the unveiling of modern news centers across eight markets to better serve all audiences.
The 2018 award recipients will be honored at the 70th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards ceremony on Sunday, April 7, 2019 in Las Vegas, in partnership with the 2019 NAB Show. To see the full list of all 2018 Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards recipients, please click here.