New Products for TV Broadcasters

Modern technology, particularly computers and weather satellites, and the availability of data provided by coordinated meteorological observing networks, has resulted in enormous improvements in the accuracy of weather forecasting. Satellites, in particular, have given forecasters routine access to observations and data from remote areas of the globe. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), and other government agencies, develop an abundance of operational satellite-derived data products uniquely suited to aid in the forecasting of atmospheric and oceanic weather conditions. However, many of these products are not routinely available to the public during their local television broadcast.

Phase I of NOAA’s SBIR program allowed WorldWinds to show the ability and necessity to incorporate NOAA satellite feeds into the public broadcast realm. NESDIS has created several new, microwave-based products that are routinely used for operational forecasting by National Weather Service forecasters. Two of these products, blended Total Precipitable Water (bTPW) and ensemble Tropical Rainfall Potential for Tropical Cyclones (eTRaP), were made available in prototype form for evaluation by Baron Services users.

Input from the SBIR Phase I beta test group identified the want and need from broadcasters for several new on air products. Phase II’s objective is to add as many new NOAA-derived data sets into the existing television broadcast data stream as possible.  A bTPW with an upper air wind analysis overlay will identify potential hazardous rainfall events and assist in forecasting the movement of concentrated areas of precipitable water. Hurricane season will be aided with a Saharan Air Layer (SAL) and dust detection product due to dust’s potential to degrade tropical system development.  Also being developed for winter weather is Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice and Snow coverage to be updated daily.  Furthermore, Phase II will introduce a series of drought products to predict seasonal drought outlooks, identify regions with short- and long-term droughts, display the daily percent of normal total rainfall, and explain what will be needed for drought recovery.

The products, now part of the Insight Data Package available through Baron Services can be viewed through the photo links below.  Additionally, Baron Services creates informational videos about their various product packages.  Videos with references to Insight Data can be seen in the following:


WorldWinds has attended several conferences to discuss the value of products in the Insight Data Package.  One such occasion was at the Baron Training Conference in Huntsville, AL.  Baron Services created a video to commemorate the event:

As well, Baron Services spoke at a luncheon in Nashville during the AMS Broadcasters Conference in 2013, discussing new radar capabilities and the Insight Data Package:


To learn more about each individual product, please click on any of the images below.

  • Baron Hurricane Index (BHI) Baron Hurricane Index (BHI)
  • Blended Total Precipitable Water with Upper Air Wind Analysis Overlay Blended Total Precipitable Water with Upper Air Wind Analysis Overlay
  • 72-hour Forecast Precipitable Water 72-hour Forecast Precipitable Water
  • Low-Level Precipitable Water Low-Level Precipitable Water
  • Satellite Derived Radar Reflectivity Satellite Derived Radar Reflectivity "Space Radar"
  • 850 - 200mb Wind Shear 850 - 200mb Wind Shear
  • Dust Concentration Dust Concentration
  • Drought Indices Drought Indices
  • Fire and Smoke Fire and Smoke
  • Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice and Snow Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice and Snow
  • Ocean Currents Ocean Currents