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The Weather Channel Displays VR Preview of Winter Storm Harper

The Weather Channel, one of the leading weather networks in the USA is a prominent organisation using immersive technology. This time around, with Winter Storm Harper coming fast, it has once again brought out its immersive mixed reality system. 

The system combines the Weather Channel’s real anchors along with high-quality digital simulations. Anchors are set within the simulated environments, which resemble the after-effects of the storm. The video clips will function as educational systems for bringing weather extremities to life.

It is being seen as a way of making people understand the severity of weather fluctuations, to help them take more alert preparation. Weather updates will not be ignored by the general population with this innovative way of outcome projection.

Immersive mixed reality or IMR produces results that instantly grab audience eyeballs towards weather forecasts, and eye-opening in many aspects. Immersive mixed reality video clips are educational and will go a long way in making people realise just how much damage nature can cause.

The Winter Storm Harper video demo showed the worst-case scenario of the storm. It has captured the probable negative outcomes of the ice storm and shown viewers how devastating the weather conditions can become during that time. It showcased the effect of warm air colliding into cold winter storms, and in the process, melting snowflakes before they can even reach the ground. The simulation has aimed to capture this phenomenon precisely. Jim Cantore, an on-air meteorologist from the Weather Channel, explained the phenomenon to audiences.

He is seen explaining the happening to viewers in the video, stating that even one-tenth of an inch of ice makes sidewalks and roads very slippery. He went on to elaborate that with half an inch of ice can prove to be extremely dangerous.

Some of the visuals of the immersive mixed reality (IMR) showed ice missiles raging down from cell phone towers, at top speeds of 90 mph and coming down at forces of over 1000 pounds. Another footage showed the snapping of power cables due to the ice bearing down.

Cantone stressed that ice can raise the weight of branches by upwards of 30 times. He is seen moving out of the way of an approaching out-of-control bus.

The IMR technology was first introduced by the Weather Channel in June when it showed a representation of a life-like tornado. Some of the IMR video clips produced under IMR include that of a storm surge flooding the studio floor, calamitous conditions on a football field, and a realistic raging wildfire.

IMR videos take elements like 360-degree angles, VR and AR elements, and HD Video, all created based on real-time data from bodies like the National Hurricane Center, as per the channel’s report. It creates a virtual setting wrapped around studio anchors and letting him/her take the viewers on a dangerous journey through extreme weather conditions.

The weather forecast was being revolutionised by the technology. – Michael Potts, VP of design and leads for IMR, the Weather Channel



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