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Weatherscan
Weatherscan logo currently in use since September 2005
Launched 1999
Owned by NBC Universal
Blackstone Group
Bain Capital
Picture format 480i
Slogan All Local, All The Time
Country United States
Language American English
Broadcast area National (in select areas)
Formerly called Weatherscan Local (1999-2003)
Sister channel(s) The Weather Channel
Website http://www.weather.com/ (TWC webpage)
Availability
Cable
Available on some cable systems Check Local Listings for channels

Weatherscan (originally called Weatherscan Local) is a TV channel offered by The Weather Channel. Carried on select cable systems in the United States, Weatherscan features uninterrupted local weather information in graphical format on a continuous loop. All content is produced by an IntelliStar unit at the cable company's headend and, unlike The Weather Channel, Weatherscan does not feature on-air talent of any kind.

The IntelliStar unit used by Weatherscan is configured differently than that used by The Weather Channel, featuring different graphics, additional weather products, and runs continuously. A pre-recorded narration introduces several segments, including "Your current conditions," "The local doppler radar," and "Your local forecast." The narration is not the same as the narration on The Weather Channel's local forecasts and uses a female announcer.

Weatherscan is available in many top markets around the United States, though its availability is less than that of The Weather Channel. Many cable companies offer Weatherscan on their digital cable lineup, although a few companies provide the channel on their basic cable lineup, on which The Weather Channel is also offered. Interesting to note, federal law requires that a cable system allow a person to get just basic cable (local broadcast channels and public, educational, and governmental (PEG) channels) and digital service, without subscribing to expanded service where The Weather Channel is often carried.[1]

Contents

Weatherscan's packages

Weatherscan has a variety of segments that show different information regarding the weather. Below are a list of known packages on Weatherscan and some brief information about them. Note that some Weatherscans do not carry some of these packages.

During the XL era, five different packages could be chosen.[2]

Currently available packages on Weatherscan include:

Local Forecast
The local forecast is the segment that all Weatherscans have. It includes all local weather data, including current conditions, local radar, and 5-day forecast. This package is mainly used for one city, but on some Weatherscans there are multiple forecast city loops.
Local Radar
The local radar segment shows the local doppler radar looping continuously for one minute.
Traffic Report
The top DMAs have the traffic report on Weatherscan. This package includes local traffic delays and traffic flow.
Airport Conditions
The airport segment shows local airport delays and weather conditions for two airports in the headend's metropolitan area. It also has a list of delays for major airports throughout the nation. This is one of the segments that most Weatherscans carry.
Travel Forecast
This segment is ideal for individuals who plan to travel. The travel segment shows regional forecast maps and a three day forecast for select cities nationwide. As with the airport segment, travel is one of the most common segments on Weatherscan.
International Forecast
People who plan to travel around the globe can watch the international forecast for weather for select cities worldwide.
Weather and Your Health
Weather and your health displays a variety of health-related forecasts, including air quality, ultraviolet index, and sun safety information.
Ski and Snow (seasonal)
The skier's forecast shows a list of ski resorts and their conditions throughout the country for those who plan to hit the slopes. It also includes a snowfall forecast map.
Golf Forecast (seasonal)
The golfer's forecast includes the forecast for golf courses and resorts as well as a golf index and a tee time forecast.
Garden (seasonal)
Garden is a rare segment that very few headends carry. This package contains information for lawn and gardening activities. It includes a precipitation forecast map and a drought severety map.
Boat and Beach (seasonal)
Boat and beach is only available for select headends in coastal locations. It includes marine forecasts, tidal information, and surf reports.

Weatherscan timeline

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

1999

  • Weatherscan Local debuts, showing only a 2 minute long local forecast back to back. The only song that was used was a two minute cut of "TSLF-01" by Trammell Starks. (Named by TWC as "Fair Weather".)

Late 2000

Weatherscan XL from late 2000 until September 2003
  • Weatherscan Local gets a new look. The weather icons' animation was removed (they were animated prior to this update) and are now still icons.
  • New products are added to several Weatherscan Locals nationwide, including health, airports, and the Spanish forecast, among others. Some Weatherscans have been reported to still show only the local forecast back to back.
  • An entire album of Trammell Starks music is now played instead of just Fair Weather. Some Weatherscan Local machines did not receive this update until late 2002.
  • Vocal Local Narration also debuts by TWC staff announcer Allen Jackson, but only two screens had narration at the time, for 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.

2001

  • Weatherscan Local's local forecast now comes directly from The Weather Channel instead of the National Weather Service. This change occurred on Weatherscan Local earlier than the WeatherStars uesd on TWC.

February 2003[3]

Weatherscan from early 2003 until late 2005
  • The Weatherscan Local machines moved to the IntelliStar platform, a whole year before TWC rolled it out. This brought with it a major upgrade to the channel:
    • Weatherscan Local has been simplified to "Weatherscan" and has received entirely new graphics, using Frutiger as the flagship typeface . The weather icons once again become animated.
  • A "severe weather mode" was added to Weatherscan during this upgrade. The yellow, blue colors become red and gray, and it only shows the local forecast, and a severe weather message saying "Weatherscan gives you this special message because of severe weather in your area".
  • Weatherscan gets new music, now featuring tracks by unknown production music companies.
  • The narration by "Local on the 8's" announcer Allen Jackson is replaced with female narration by Amy Bargeron.
  • The narration for the 36 hour forecast is changed from "the forecast for your area" to "your local forecast."
  • Although this version was released in February, many locations didn't receive the upgrade until September.

Early 2004

  • The first signs of the music "skipping" are heard on Weatherscan. Eventually, the music started skipping more often.

Early-mid August 2004

  • Weatherscan's font becomes bolder.
  • A fade in-fade out effect was added in between each day on the 36-hour forecast.
  • The local radar is enhanced, now showing more major roads on the radar, and city identifiers that are closer to the domestic IntelliStar's.
  • The local radar now shows the precipitation's movement within the past three hours instead of two.
  • The music has been fixed show it does not skip.
  • Some icons, such as "AM Clouds/PM Sun" and the nighttime "Mostly Clear" are updated so they are identical to the icons on the IntelliStar.

February 17, 2005

  • The 36-hour forecast now becomes a 48-hour local forecast, now showing the forecast for today up to the next day's night.
  • The point size of the text on the local forecast becomes larger, now bigger than the "Local Forecast" title heading.
  • Some songs on Weatherscan have been replaced with new ones.
  • During severe weather mode, Weatherscan now shows only the local radar, 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 2005

  • A "traffic report" was added to Weatherscan's on the top viewing markets such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta, showing the traffic conditions from Traffic Pulse for a city's metropolitan area. Also, a 1-minute long local radar segment has been added to Weatherscans nationwide.

September 27, 2005

Weatherscan IntelliStar from September 2005 until December 2006
  • Weatherscan receives a bold new look in accordance with The Weather Channel's new logo and graphics. An "L-bar" was added, that shows instant information to viewers, which is much similar to NBC Weather Plus. Current conditions, extended forecast, local radar, and local observations are now shown constantly to the viewer.
  • More narration is added to Weatherscan, such as narration to the local radar, traffic segment, among other segments.
  • Note: Areas that were in Hurricane Rita's path received this Weatherscan update about a week earlier.

December 2005

  • A traffic.com advertisement graphic is added at the end of the traffic report segment.
  • The narration for the "traffic flow" screen is removed.

March 2006

  • More songs are removed and more new ones have been added to Weatherscan.

April 2006

  • HiRAD technology begins to be introduced into some Weatherscans.

August 2006

  • Due to the discontinuation of P. Allen Smith's garden segments on The Weather Channel, the P. Allen Smith advertisement at the end of the garden segment is replaced with a generic weather.com/garden advertisement.

December 12, 2006

  • Weather icons that have been in use on Weatherscan from 1999-2006 were replaced by more realistic icons.
  • The slashes for phrases such as "Partly Cloudy/Wind" on the extended and daypart forecasts are replaced by commas (e.g. "Partly Cloudy, Wind").
The look of Weatherscan prior to March 11, 2010

January 23, 2007

  • As with the TWC IntelliStar, the Weatherscan radar has been changed. "Light" and "Heavy" changed to "rain," and "mix" and "snow" were added. The color key was removed from the mini-radar in the corner of the screen.

May 22, 2007

  • The radar legend becomes interactive with the precipitation. The snow and mix color keys now only display if frozen precipitation is detected.

October 24, 2007

  • The traffic overview map on Weatherscans with this segment is updated to match the map on the domestic IntelliStar.

November 5, 2007

  • Several new songs were added to the music loop.

February 2009

  • The WeatherReady logo on the Health and Ski segments receives a slight modification.

Mid-2009

  • The Weather Channel responds to viewer e-mail saying:

"We are well aware of the need to update W[eather]scan. We are looking at several options, however there are some significant limitations on the software on the current platform so any changes will probably take some time."

March 11, 2010

  • New icons which are featured or based on the weather.com website are debuted on Weatherscan.

National feed

Weatherscan's national feed from December 2000.

When Weatherscan Local debuted in 1999, there was also a national version of the channel that was used for satellite companies and smaller cable companies that could not afford Weatherscan Local. This channel featured current temperatures and the forecast for the next several days for select cities throughout the United States, as well as national and regional radar images. This channel was named simply "Weatherscan". 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.

See also

References

External links








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