StormTracker 5 revolutionizes severe weather coverage

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - We've all seen it happen. Blue skies turn a charcoal gray and before you know it, you are ushering your family to a safe location to wait out a severe storm.

Severe weather is a reality here in the Mid-South. WMC Action News 5 is committed to keeping you and your loved ones safe, and for that reason, we're taking our severe weather coverage to a whole new level.

In the coming days and weeks, you will see WMC Action News 5's StormTracker 5 hit the streets, carrying with it state-of-the-art equipment that will allow us to bring you the weather coverage you expect and deserve as it's happening.

StormTracker 5 is a fully-loaded 2015 Chevy Tahoe from Serra Chevrolet. It has chrome wheels, a navigation system, and Bose stereo system.

The SUV was completely rebuilt from the inside out in order to install technology that our meteorologists can use out in the elements to keep you informed about what is going on in your neighborhood and surrounding communities as storms roll in.

Inside StormTracker 5, there is a Baron Threat Net system, giving our meteorologist remote access to the WMC Action News 5 Million Watt First Alert Doppler Radar and a multitude of radars across the country.  The Threat Net system allows our meteorologist to have instant access to high resolution street level mapping with the radar imagery as well as lightning and satellite data and storm tracking capability.

A state of the art mobile weather station will is also mounted outside vehicle displaying instant weather data to the meteorologist inside the Storm Tracker. A thermometer, rain gauge, an anemometer to measure wind speed, a barometer to accurately measure air pressure, and sensor to measure humidity.

An advanced array of computers will allow our team to remotely connect to our graphics system used in the WMC Action News 5 Storm Tracking Center.

A GoPro camera is mounted to the top of StormTracker 5 and will be controlled by the meteorologists inside. The camera rotates 360 degrees, allowing our meteorologists to lock onto a storm cell and focus on it as they drive through the elements. There are two additional GoPro cameras mounted on the front and back of the vehicle, making it easy for our team to show you road conditions as they move through the storm.

Watching our coverage, you won't miss a beat. LiveU technology will allow our meteorologists to broadcast to you live from wherever they are at any time. With a designated driver, a meteorologist will even be able to broadcast live from inside StormTracker 5 while tracking a storm or  moving to its next location.

A 42 inch flat screen monitor is mounted on a pull-out tray in the rear compartment of the vehicle. Equipped with Apple TV, our meteorologists will have the ability to display pictures or video from their iPhones or iPad. And using the remote computer access technology in vehicle, our meteorologist can even provide a complete weather forecast with graphics and live radar data from the field no matter where they may be.

You can't miss StormTracker 5 when it comes through your neighborhood. It is wrapped in WMC Action News 5's First Alert branding. When you see our vehicle roll through town, you will know you can count on us for the best and most thorough coverage of the severe weather moving through our region.

StormTracker 5 is the only vehicle of its kind in the Mid-South. No other TV station in Tennessee, Arkansas, or Mississippi have the same cutting-edge equipment at their disposal.

We take severe weather seriously at WMC Action News 5. We are committed to revolutionizing severe weather coverage in the Mid-South to keep you and your family safe.

To watch Chief Meteorologist Ron Childers give a full tour of StormTracker 5, click here.

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