WRCB rolls out Thunder, the Tennessee Valley’s first mobile weather center

Thunder, WRCBtv's mobile weather center.

The Channel 3 Storm Alert weather team is expanding with technology new to the Tennessee Valley that allows the Channel 3 team to track weather with a higher degree of accuracy and more detail than ever before.

Meet Thunder.

Thunder is a mobile Storm Alert weather center. This one-of-a-kind weather station on wheels expands Channel 3’s reliable weather arsenal to keep you and your family safe when weather strikes.

Channel 3 meteorologists and engineers teamed up to make a checklist of important features they would need to take the Storm Alert Weather Center on the road. Thunder includes them all.

Thunder is equipped with all the tools needed to take on any terrain in the Tennessee Valley. The fully customized F-250 includes a crew cab, a bed enclosure to protect critical equipment, 20-inch unique wheels, a lift kit, brush guard and a long list of safety features to include strobe lighting.

A scrolling message display stays up-to-date with current information from wherever Thunder is dispatched. The latest in live broadcast technology and multiple cameras allow Thunder to broadcast live while driving through weather conditions, keeping the Channel 3 crew safe and bringing you the latest on road conditions. Rooftop, dashboard and in-cab cameras give you a look from every angle.

“Channel 3 continues our long-standing tradition of being the Tennessee Valley’s weather leader,” said Pam Teague, WRCB’s VP/General Manager. “Thunder allows our trusted team of meteorologists to provide more timely information on current conditions to our viewers.”

Meteorologists can take their forecast on the road by pulling out a large outdoor monitor and forecasting from the field just as they would from the studio. That same monitor also replicates a smartphone so meteorologists can answer questions you have about the WRCB Weather app, including how to customize your phone’s settings to ensure you receive Storm Alert messages when your family could be in danger.

“This tool allows us to take our storm coverage to a whole new level,” said Paul Barys, WRCB Chief Meteorologist. “Now, the Storm Alert team can provide weather updates and current conditions at the same time. Thunder takes all of our storm prediction and reporting capabilities into the field so we can provide real-time conditions and track storms better than ever before.”

“Baron provides a number of unique tools for our broadcast clients to tell a compelling weather story,” said Mike Mougey, VP of Broadcast Sales for Baron, Channel 3’s critical weather technology provider. “Outfitting a mobile weather lab with innovative weather technology, combined with ground truth reporting is an excellent way for WRCB to get straight to the heart of the weather story and keep their audience informed.”

Thunder will allow the public to get a close-up look at the weather technology that drives Channel 3 Storm Alert Weather. Thunder will visit schools and community events to educate the public about weather safety.

“We won’t keep this tool to ourselves,” said Callie Starnes, WRCB News Director. “Outside of severe weather coverage, we want classrooms and community groups to have access to Thunder and his technology that is new to the Chattanooga market.”