Advancement Of Weather Technology Helps KOTV Keep Oklahomans Safe

Wednesday, November 27th 2019, 8:55 pm
By: Craig Day

Keeping Oklahomans safe from severe weather is a top priority at News on 6. Retired KOTV meteorologist Dick Faurot saw a lot of advancements in weather technology throughout his career.

"I had to use paper maps, I had to plot up the data by hand, and all that is automated now.  So that's one huge step," says Faurot.

The development and evolution of radar was a game-changer for storm coverage on TV.

"Before radar, you just looked up at the clouds and tried to do the best you could," Faurot says.

News on 6's latest radar gives our Oklahoma weather experts a 3D view of multiple parts of a storm. We can also zoom into individual streets to show exactly where intensity is located.

"We could look at a storm and see the overshooting top, we can see the hail core, we can see debris in it," says Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer. "It's amazing some of the technology we've seen."

News on 6's Dave Oldem was instrumental in developing Pathfinder, which shows when storms will arrive in towns in the path of a storm. Just two days later, former Chief Meteorologist Jim Giles put it to the test when a tornado hit Oologah in 1991. Giles, Oldem, and pathfinder were credited with saving dozens of lives.

"This was state of the art, this was a breakthrough that nobody had ever seen before, and it came out of Tulsa right here at channel six," Meyer says.

"It's just a huge boon to give people the advance warning that they need," says Faurot.

News On 6's 18 professional storm trackers, combined with Osage Sky News 6 HD, and our Osage Casino Skycam network, each give our meteorologists an important view of Oklahoma's severe weather.

"You have the capability with the new radars, you have the capabilities with the storm trackers, the confirmation of getting helicopters and things like that to help you, so it's the best data we've ever had," Meyer says.

So whether it's in the air, on the ground or in the weather center, News On 6 will keep you advised, as we look forward to even more technology over our next seven decades of keeping Oklahomans safe.