Associate Features Editor
MU Weather Watch is back for a new season with a fresh look and added energy. The program is a weather entertainment show solely produced, edited and scripted by Millersville meteorology students. The show takes place bi-weekly, typically airing on Sunday at 9 p.m., and the latest episode was uploaded on Feb. 23.
The co-founders went on to be successful meteorologists at WGAL, a local news station based in Lancaster. “[MU Weather Watch] got started in the Spring 2012 semester by two former Meteorology Students who have graduated and moved on and now working at WGAL, Shane Brown and Matthew Moore,” says Curtis Silverwood, a producer of the show.
The show unfolds with short segments including reoccurring pieces and specialized topics. “Weather in 60 Seconds” is a segment that is done every other episode. The segment summarizes weather that made recent headlines. Another reoccurring segment done on the show is “Weather Watch Top Five”. This piece counts down top five weather related occurrences that took place in history, from different categories.
Special segments occur when newsworthy, weather related stories are covered. A recent episode aired a story about the Ontario Winter Lake Effects Systems project. Meteorology students participated in OWLeS by traveling to the Finger Lakes in New York over winter break. Previous seasons included pieces done featuring PennDOT and Hershey Park. The team also plans to go to a Barn Stormers’ game to study the effects of weather on sporting events.
Episodes are now shown more frequently than in past seasons, but with shorter airtime. Because MU Weather Watch is a weather entertainment show, the information is fun and pertinent. Not everyone has to be an expert to comprehend the show. “[The cast] tries to make [episodes] fun and entertaining, while being educational. [They explain] what is happening in the meteorology field by generalizing it for the public,” says Silverwood.
The design is meant to be more modern. Instead of the MU Weather Watch team sitting behind a desk, they are now in front of the green screen. This allows for the team to become more energetic and engaging. Graphics were also updated to look neater and more professional. Silverwood explains MU Weather Watch is not set up in a lecture format and the information presented is fun but factual.
The team includes producers, editors, filming crew and talent. The talent is the students that present the segment on screen. New meteorology students that are interested in broadcasting are trained in presentation, script writing, editing and filming. Experience comes with practice; talents usually do a specialized piece to then later host an episode. A complete list of cast and crew is included on MU Weather Watch’s website.
The premiere episode of this season included a piece explaining the term “polar vortex.” This is used to describe why it has been so cold lately. The mainstream media started to use the meteorology term this year, although it has been around for a long time. The content relates back to the university by interviewing students about current meteorological topics. Meteorology professors are also consulted in MU Weather Watch.
How can you find MU Weather Watch? Weather Watch is on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and has its own website at http://www.muweatherwatch.com. Check out the first two episodes of this season of MU Weather Watch!