GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After more than a decade, the Storm Team 8 Tracking Center has undergone a massive remodel — bringing the team more than just new flooring and paint. The new state-of-the-art Tracking Center will provide viewers with enhanced coverage during big weather events across the region.
Storm Team 8 unveiled its highly anticipated new Tracking Center during the 5 p.m. News 8 broadcast.
The new Tracking Center design allows for better collaboration and team weather coverage during winter and severe weather. Technology enhancements including a new 12-foot chroma key green screen, three 86-inch monitors and augmented reality tools will enhance coverage during severe weather as well.
The Tracking Center design features an open-concept layout that provides the team with more space to move around and more space at their workstations. This change allows the Storm Team 8 meteorologists to present the weather from multiple locations within the Tracking Center, allowing them to better tell the weather story of the day.
“The new design will help our team of meteorologists, and Tom Hillen, who brings West Michigan traffic alerts day and night when the weather turns bad, to do our jobs even better, and to communicate even faster and clearer to viewers in West Michigan no matter the weather that comes our way,” said Chief Meteorologist Ellen Bacca.
Daybreak meteorologist Terri DeBoer said the new Tracking Center is “a full-service weather and traffic command center,” adding, “The specially-designed space allows up-to-the-minute tracking of developing weather, which is critical for the morning commute.
“When weather and traffic are developing on Daybreak, we are your most experienced, best equipped and most reliable team to help you navigate challenging morning commutes. This new space allows us to provide you with the most accurate and timely weather information.”
The larger footprint and new technology allow for augmented reality 3D weather graphics to further help break down West Michigan’s complex and varied forms of weather.
“One of the cool features of the new Tracking Center is the large ‘window to the world’ vertical monitors that offer a dynamic background, with the ability to route live camera footage or other pre-produced graphics to viewers,” said Andrew Storm, WOOD TV8 Art Director.
This state-of-the-art Tracking Center is one of the largest in the Nexstar Nation, which owns WOOD TV8 and several other stations across the country.