Looking for inspiration on how to cover the next big weather event? Here are six outlets trying different tactics on their live weather blogs for the winter storm that struck the South and Northeast region Thursday and (most likely) Friday. AJR.org reviewed how several news organizations were populating their storm live blogs on Thursday evening.
THE WEATHER CHANNEL: Video is the star of this live feed, with meteorologists stating the latest forecast, along with features, such as one on a city with “snow fatigue” (Philadelphia). The video is on autoplay. One other interesting element of The Weather Channel’s storm coverage: It names storms as a way, the channel says, to communicate quickly and efficiently via hashtags, and all of its reporters and meteorologist are referring to this one as “Pax.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Lede, which starts its feed with a timelapse video of snow accumulating in D.C., includes a comprehensive, state-by-state look at the weather. It updates with tweets and photos across region of the country affected by the storm, including traffic cameras in Connecticut and snowing in Delaware.
BALTIMORE SUN: As the second round of snowy weather descended on the D.C. region Thursday night, The Baltimore Sun live blog led with an easy-to-read summary of what to expect with the storm, broken up by topic with the time of day and the forecast. As the user scrolls through the feed, he or she can also monitor key points of the storm, also broken up by bulleted key words and short summaries, and click through to see more on photos, closings, forecasts and video. The live blog is frequently updated with tweets and stories from this storm, such as this one, about the how the weather will be putting a strain on Valentine’s Day.
ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: The live blog broke up its its information feed into three sections: “News,” which included a frequently updated feed of weather stories from the paper, “experts,” which posted tweets from public officials, and “Your Reactions,” a collection of tweets and photos.
THE WASHINGTON POST: The Capital Weather Gang live blog leads with a large headline that announces the latest weather warning or watch and follows with the very latest weather alerts. Then users can then opt to click on three links: snow totals, a map, or a live blog, before scrolling down for a bulleted summary of the high points of the weather event. The live blog itself includes a variety of maps, including a map at one point from Weather Underground that shows temperatures in cities around the region. Also, this blog calls the storm “Snochi.”
SLATE: A bolded list includes handy updated summaries of how the impending weather will impact each state in its path. The blog, written by Eric Holthaus, the meteorologist who writes about weather for Slate, includes his predictions as well, which, on Thursday night, included a warning that more snow might come than some models are predicting. His live blog also includes photos and tweets, including this one, of what looks like to be some mayhem in Raleigh, N.C.