On Monday, FOX Weather enters the streaming world. The free service has some big new plans coming for how we get our weather, starting from its set design and working down to partnerships.
FOX Weather will stream 24/7. The service will try and make the weather something more than just some maps and calming music; FOX Weather is aiming to make the weather a full multimedia event.
FOX is handing over the entire 12th floor of its Manhattan office building to FOX Weather, and has already rolled out some noteworthy new innovations. Chief among these is the “Sky Dome”, a ceiling-mounted dome light packed with color-changing LED lights. The colors in the Sky Dome will shift depending on the time of day as well as depending on the weather outside. When severe weather is involved, the lights will shift to red, making it clear that something dangerous is going on outside and anyone anywhere near that problem needs to respond accordingly.
Color-changing dome lighting isn’t the only new tool here. FOX Weather is also poised to bring out such innovations as 3D radar, which for meteorologists is a huge step forward. Additionally, FOX Weather has hooked up with WeatherSTEM to bring in live video feeds from stadiums nationwide. This allows sports enthusiasts—who will have to be outside in that weather for hours at a clip—to better tell what conditions are like on the ground.
The service will be ad-supported, reports note—FOX Weather is already hoping for brisk business from wedding planners, who build their entire operations around weather reports—and forecasts will be able to stretch up to several months in the future. Reports note that Fox will be turning to the same data that businesses turn to when considering what supplies to buy for a year in advance.
There’s one area that FOX Weather can hopefully improve on, and that’s one that The Weather Channel used to be known for: local weather. The Weather Channel had a feature called “Local on the 8’s.” Every time with an 8 in the minutes—18 minutes past the hour, 38 minutes past and so on—a completely local weather forecast would emerge. This was diluted somewhat in later years, but for those who wanted to know what the weather would be like in a couple of hours, The Weather Channel had you covered. Hopefully, FOX Weather—with its incredibly granular forecasting and long-term projection capability—can restore that extremely local functionality.