A new all-weather truck -- loaded with radar and computers to predict and track weather -- will allow Storm Team4 meteorologists to drive into the heart of storms and broadcast live.
The new Storm Team 4x4 arrived at NBC4 earlier this week.
The customized off-road truck, which began its life as a full-sized Chevy Suburban, can withstand wind, rain and snow. It has flood lights that go on when the power is out, reinforcements that protect the truck from debris, and a news ticker and speakers outside to present important messages to the public during an emergency.
The full weather station on board can measure temperatures, humidity, lightning, rain, wind speed and direction, as well as track weather radar. All the data uploads automatically to Storm Team4's weather system, including NBCWashington.com and the Storm Team4 weather app.
While most weather trucks may look high-tech on the outside, this one is a self-sustaining weather forecasting center, said Storm Team 4 Meteorologist Veronica Johnson.
“Ours is the only true weather truck,” Johnson said. "The coolest part is it is self-sustaining when it comes to being a weather truck."
The three cameras aboard are capable of streaming coverage to the station or online, across cell networks, in high definition.
The station got the concept about one year ago at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, said Rob Gibson, manager of technical operations for NBC4.