Storm Chaser vehicle to help FOX 11 meteorologists

We are excited to show you the latest in storm tracking technology. Meteorologist Doug Higgins recently spent some time training to use the FOX 11 Storm Chaser! He gives a tour of the SUV that is like a mobile command center on wheels.

The storm chaser is not just flashy – it is fully functional.

“It has all the latest technology,” FOX 11 Director of Meteorology Pete Petoniak said. “It enables us to not only track the storm in the studio but also chase the storms in real time, and bring back that information for our viewers.”

FOX 11 STORM CHASER MEASURES

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Air pressure
  • Wind speed and direction
  • Rainfall amount
  • Solar radiation
  • Lightning

Three cameras are on board the truck: one facing forward, another backward and one on the passenger side. When we are chasing storms, you can chase them with us from your living room.

“We anticipate it to get ground truth of what’s out in the field,” Pete said.

When storms hit, we can chase them using this GPS-enabled radar tracking system. We’ll know exactly where we are and where the storms are moving.

Besides chasing storms this is a great vehicle for teaching people about the weather. Meteorologists in the truck have full control of whatever shows up on a monitor, which, by the way, is waterproof. So if it rains on it a little bit, that’s OK. There’s an iPad, also waterproof.

When meteorologists give weather presentations, they have a microphone on, and speakers are on board the truck so they can broadcast live to the audience outside. We just need good weather when we give outdoor weather talks.

There is even a full package of weather sensors on the roof taking the latest weather conditions. From temperature to wind speeds and even rainfall amounts, all that information is even shared on the Internet through a website called Weather Underground (Note: information will only be available when the truck is turned on).

A lot of people have asked if we are going to drive this into tornadoes. No, we aren’t! Our goal is to chase storms, not have storms chase us. This will allow us to get information about a particular storm quickly to you, the viewer.

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