We check this channel a lot to see whether (no pun intended) we’ll have a wet, a wild or a weenie of a sunset, so we decided to find out more about what we see on the screen. How does radar work and how current is the picture on the screen and all that?
Our hurricane season probably gets the most eyeballs on the weather radar. Even though the vast majority of tropical storm and hurricane activity typically occurs during the August through October period, the official hurricane season is not over until the end of November. For explanation, we turned to Brian Monahan, a meteorologist at WINK-TV.
“Radar emits a beam out into the atmosphere at varying angles,” Brian began. “There’s a ‘listening’ period, when the radar waits for a return from precipitation. If an object is large and dense enough, there will be a return. But it’s not instantaneous.
“That’s why there’s really no such thing as truly ‘live’ Doppler radar. There’s always some inherent delay, however brief. So what you see on WINK or other TV stations here is about as live as radar gets.”
So, what we see, what’s going on right then on the screen, is not really going on right then? Brian says that the National Weather Service Web site gives updates about every six minutes. “The NWS doesn’t release its radar data until the radar has done something known as a full volume scan. Then, all the data is released. Thus, the delay of at least six minutes on cable channel 25.”
Brian says the National Weather Service usually uses a product called NOWRAD for its regional and national weather radar views. “It’s essentially a composite of all the local Doppler radars and often is delayed 15 to 30 minutes.”
On radio, our weather “voice” service originates from the National Weather Service offices in Miami. The service network has more than 900 stations in the 50 states and coastal waters, plus U.S. territories.
Did you ever wonder about the voice on those weather advisories? It’s an automated, computerized voice created on a device called the Console Replacement System that translates written information into voice delivery. It sounds odd at first. One friend says she always wondered why that weather guy has a German accent.
It works very well, but sometimes stumbles on pronouncing some locality names. One we always enjoy is hearing the weather computer voice deal with saying the name of the town, Chokoloskee.
Help make Marco pet-responsible, as well as pet-friendly
Want a puppy or a kitty? How about six of each? No? Not many people do, but too many dogs and cats are born and many must be euthanized, a fancy word meaning killed on purpose, because nobody wants them.
Some pet lovers have formed a new Collier County Spay and Neuter Clinic. It’s a not-for-profit organization whose goal is, according to Executive Director Pallas Diaz, “to provide a non-lethal alternative to the unnecessary euthanasia of homeless pets through high quality, targeted, affordable sterilization services.”
To help raise funds for the effort, Brien Spina is offering an evening of comedy at his Off the Hook Comedy Club. It’s in Capt. Brien’s Seafood and Raw Bar at Marco Walk. The date for the show, featuring funnyman Brian Bradley, is tomorrow evening, Thursday, Nov. 5.
It’s a good cause, spaying and neutering our pets, but it sometimes is overshadowed by higher profile charitable efforts. So, here’s a chance to toast the pets we love and to help make sure that we don’t create a lot of homeless, doomed pets by simply neglecting to control the population.
For more information you can phone 514-7647 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Local” talk show host makes National Radio Hall of Fame
Nationally known radio talk show host Neal Boortz, a part-time resident of Naples with ties to Marco Island, is about to enter the “high cotton” of the radio business. Neal will be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame at ceremonies in Chicago this coming Saturday, Nov 7. Stars Rush Limbaugh, Willard Scott and others will welcome Boortz to the fold. Previous inductees include Jack Benny, Abbott and Costello, Gene Autry, Red Barber, Paul Harvey, Murray the K, Casey Kasem and Edgar Bergen, to name just a few. We’re not sure about Bergen’s pal, Charlie McCarthy.
Boortz often originates his Monday through Friday national radio show from Naples. He’s heard here on 98.9FM, WGUF, and Neal has made no secret of his desire to do the show from here full-time someday.
Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail email@example.com. Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV, in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.