StormTracker 12: The future of severe weather coverage - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

StormTracker 12: The future of severe weather coverage

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Central Alabama is a hotbed for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms, hurricanes and, as we have seen this year, even winter storms.

With another Spring severe weather season looming, the WSFA Doppler 12 StormVision team joins our corporate sponsors, Gilmore Ford and AirNow, to present the latest powerful tool in our severe weather arsenal: StormTracker 12. 

It's a heavy duty 2013 Ford Expedition XLT, 4-wheel drive with tow package. 

The interior of the vehicle has been heavily modified by WSFA 12 engineers over the last several weeks to accommodate the latest in cutting edge technology. It has a mobile weather lab, broadcast quality cameras, and a mobile transmitter, which utilizes multiple cell phone signals to broadcast our signal back to the station in real time. 

The vehicle is equipped with two cameras, with the capacity for more cameras to be connected into the system.

[SLIDESHOW: StormTracker 12]

Our StormTracker has a roof-mounted camera encased in a clear glass dome for tracking storms across Alabama. This rig has a remote-controlled pan/tilt, and a windshield wiper to give us a clear picture of the weather during rain.

Laptops inside the StormTracker will give our meteorologists access to radar – allowing them to track storms as they travel through Alabama. There's a Davis weather panel mounted on the roof, too, so we'll have a constant stream of weather reports from the StormTracker's location.

StormTracker 12 will not be only be on the road in severe situations, but it will also be an important promotional tool at special events, including school visits.  A 42" rear-mounted HDTV monitor will allow our meteorologists to showcase the technology when they visit schools and civic groups.  The monitor can display multiple sources, including our off-air broadcast, either of our two Live cameras, the radar maps, or the Davis weather panel. 

StormTracker 12 is unique.  No other station in central Alabama has this kind of cutting edge equipment at their disposal.

We take severe weather seriously at WSFA 12 News, and our new StormTracker 12 is just the latest technological addition to keep you and your family safe during severe weather.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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