This picture (pointed out by former O-Town anchor Scott Walker on his Twitter feed) is from Nashville’s WTVF-CBS 5. It was snapped by a viewer during the station’s coverage of severe weather on Saturday and posted on the Facebook group, “I survived the Great Nashville Monsoon of May 1st.” I think this graphically illustrates why you don’t want your weather guys drawing on the screen during severe weather. And speaking of weather, the RogerSimmons.com weather station is now working again, but we’re still awaiting some key replacement parts to arrive this week. Then, everything will be, uh, back up and functioning fine again.
How excited is Fox 35 about getting its new $1.5 million Guardian dual pole radar? The station has set up a live cam so folks can follow along with the construction progress. The station broke ground for the Doppler tower on Aug. 5. At the time, chief meteorologist Glenn Richards said it would take about 45 days for “the most powerful radar system in Central Florida” to be operational. From the photos, looks like the foundation is finished and they’re starting to go vertical. Check it out yourself.
WKMG broadcast fascinating recollections of Hurricane Charley — and the other storms of 2004 — on Wednesday night. Reporter Donald Forbes had a particulary moving tale of riding out the storm in Port Charlotte crouched next to a wall, finally reaching the safety of the station’s satellite truck only after the storm’s eye arrived with an eerie orange glow.
A reminder that on Thursday — the fifth anniversary of Charley — WKMG-Local 6, WOFL-Fox 35 and Central Florida News 13 are teaming up for a daylong telethon to benefit the Red Cross. The stations will be providing coverage of the telethon, which runs from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. To donate, you can call 1-888-288-9279.
Finally, I couldn’t let the Charley anniversary pass without another look at one of my favorite Orlando Weekly cartoons from 2004. Tom Terry and Tom Sorrells became the most popular people in Central Florida for their endless hours of on-air work during Charley, Frances and Jeanne — but, no offense guys, we don’t ever want to see that much of you two again!
Thursday will mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Charley’s surprising and destructive visit to Orlando.
Orlando’s TV stations performed a great public service on Aug. 13, 2004 — dismissing the official National Hurricane Center track for the storm and correctly predicting the hurricane was headed to Orlando, not to Tampa. The stations gave residents extra time to prepare for the storm — but no one could have known it would be a hurricane drill that would have to be repeated two more times during our relentless summer of storms.
Area stations are marking the anniversary in different ways. WKMG-Local 6 — which lost power during Hurricane Charley and remained on the air only by using a generator from one of its live trucks — will air a one-hour special Wednesday that recalls not only Charley but the other storms of 2004. “Charley, Frances & Jeanne: Five Years Later” will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
WKMG is joining WOFL-Fox 35 and Central Florida News 13 in hosting a daylong telethon, beginning at 5 a.m. Thursday. Money collected will go to the American Red Cross — which provided relief to Central Floridians during Charley, Frances and Jeanne. Read more about the telethon here.
After the jump, photos and video of Hurricane Charley’s Orlando visit
WOFL-Fox 35 is upping the ante in the area’s Doppler competition, announcing plans to build a $1.5 million Dual Polarization radar it says will be more powerful than all the other radars in the market combined.
The announcement of the new radar system — dubbed “Guardian” — was made during WOFL’s Fox at 5 newscast Wednesday evening. Ground breaking has already taken place for the new Fox 35 radar facility in Christmas, and the system should be operational in about 45 days, Chief Meteorologist Glenn Richards said.
What’s different about this Doppler? Find out after the jump
WKMG is living up to its “Local” 6 moniker Wednesday night, taking an hour of prime time to focus on something that impacts Central Floridians nearly every day: Lightning.
“Lightning Strikes,” which airs at 8 p.m., is a program that looks how we cope with living in one of the world’s lightning hot spots.
“We do stories about victims, survivors, myth vs. truths, explain how lightning starts, how best to avoid it and how to protect your home and your family,” WKMG chief meteorologist Tom Sorrells explained via e-mail. “The first story out of the gate is a tragic piece out of Titusville. I covered the story, and I’ve seen the finished product. I feel it may be the most important story I’ve ever done.”
More from Sorrells after the jump …