All FSU Weather Show Weathercasters have completed the weathercasting course and demonstrate on-air skill sets.
FSU Press Release about the FSU Weather Show
'FSU WEATHER' TV PROGRAM IS ON THE AIR
February 24, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-A new television program produced by Florida State University meteorology students will give them practical broadcast experience and keep weather watchers in Leon and Wakulla counties well informed.
"FSU Weather" is broadcast at 6:30 p.m. on 4FSU (Comcast Cable Channel 4) from a studio in the basement of FSU's James J. Love Building, which houses the department of meteorology. Each weekday, this live, half-hour Weather Channel-style show features students reporting on local, regional and national weather, with special focuses for travel and sporting events. A local forecast is given every 10 minutes at 6:34, 6:44 and 6:54 p.m. "FSU Weather" is rebroadcast each weeknight on 4FSU at 11:30 p.m.
The students who make on-camera presentations or work behind the scenes range from freshmen to graduate students. A team leader, one for each night, is responsible for assigning the show's various segments to the student weathercasters. The team leader also is responsible for creating the graphics for that night's show. Typically, five to seven students appear on camera each evening, with others working off camera.
"The students plan, produce and perform the show all by themselves, putting in many hours per week," said meteorology Professor Jon Ahlquist, who created the show. "They have been producing the program since last October, but without publicity so that they would be on a solid footing once the program was advertised. I talk with them every day about what is going right, where the problems lie, and how we might make things better."
In order to have a large pool of knowledgeable students working in weathercasting operations, Ahlquist gets freshmen involved as soon as possible so that they are "old pros" by the time they are juniors. Right now, the show is staffed by 16 undergraduate students and one graduate student. The student weathercasters are selected based on their performance in the weathercasting course that Ahlquist first started teaching in the fall of 1982.
The "FSU Weather" program is an outgrowth of short weathercasts that have been produced each weeknight for FSU's cable TV station since it first went on the air in the spring of 1996. Those weathercasts were the first programming created specifically for FSU's cable TV outlet.
FSU meteorology alumni appear prominently on national television. Three work on camera at The Weather Channel, and others are off camera. Both of CBS's on-camera hurricane experts are FSU graduates - Neil Frank, former director of the National Hurricane Center who is now chief meteorologist at KHOU Houston, and Bryan Norcross of Hurricane Andrew fame who is on the weather team at WFOR Miami. In addition, FSU alumna Janice Huff appears on NBC's weekend "Today" show. FSU alumni also work in large and small television markets from New York City to Los Angeles.
By Jeffery Seay