The Weather Channel wins News & Documentary Emmy® Award for Immersive Mixed Reality Storytelling

The network’s Immersive Mixed Reality segment on tornado danger was awarded for Outstanding Science, Medical or Environmental Report

Tonight, The Weather Channel television network was awarded at the 40th Annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Science, Medical or Environmental Report for its segment on the dangers of tornadoes using Immersive Mixed Reality storytelling. The segment aired on AMHQ, the network’s signature morning show.

“We’re thrilled to be awarded with a News & Documentary Emmy for our Immersive Mixed Reality segment on tornado safety,” said Nora Zimmett, Chief Content Officer and EVP of The Weather Channel television network. “Our team has worked tirelessly to bring this technology and storytelling to life to provide trusted, lifesaving information to our viewers in a new and captivating way. We thank the Television Academy for recognizing our efforts.”

During a day with active tornado warnings in America at the peak of the 2018 tornado season, The Weather Channel demonstrated the life-cycle of a tornado in real-time. Using a hyper-realistic visualization process, this immersive mixed reality experience took the viewer through the formation of an EF5 tornado as it grew, presented as if a tornado had formed and was approaching the network’s broadcast studios. The final production was a groundbreaking use of design and data to warn people in an actionable way never before accomplished on TV, while reinforcing the dangers of tornadoes and providing information about the safety precautions one should take to survive this type of tornado.

For nearly 38 years, The Weather Channel television network has been the leader in severe weather coverage, providing the most comprehensive analysis of any media outlet and serving as the nation’s only 24-hour source of national storm coverage. One of the most significant achievements of the network’s coverage is the ability to forecast, with extreme accuracy, the path and the scope of severe weather events. Utilizing a full suite of award-winning, data-driven, augmented reality technology, immersive live coverage and scientific experts, the network works to ensure that the public is well informed ahead of, during, and after severe weather events.

Using the power of advanced, real-time graphic renderings and visual effects with Frontier powered by Unreal Engine, the network is pioneering new methods of broadcast presentation for real-time immersive storytelling. Immersive Mixed Reality experiences demonstrate how The Weather Channel can take viewers inside of an environment to educate and inform, as they ignite a revolution of weather presentation. Previously-released segments include a spotlight on tornado safety, storm surge flooding the studios, a wildfire overtaking a field, a deadly ice storm, and illustrating the impact of climate change on a future American city. By mid-2020, the network plans to use IMR technology in 80% of their programming.

The 40th Annual News & Documentary Emmy® Awards were presented on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York City.