The American Forces Network Weather Center produces daily weather forecast shows covering 69 cities around the world for all Department of Defense members and their families stationed overseas. The shows include all the comforts of an American news weather broadcast from home: high and low temperatures, cloud cover, significant weather predictions, and extended forecasts for key locations, which can sometimes be a great distance from the host nation's major cities.
While stationed overseas, many U.S. government employees and their families have only one source for English-speaking broadcasts - the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS).
The American Forces Network Weather Center (AFNWC) was formed based on the results of an AFRTS survey distributed in 1996. The results revealed that weather forecasts presented in American English and using the Fahrenheit scale was the number one requested item. The weather center was created at the Air Force Weather Agency headquarters, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in 1998 to fill this void.
Staff members are weather forecasters by trade. AFNWC produces six weather forecast shows covering 69 cities, on five continents, with a total of about 280 forecasts daily. The latest weather observations, model data, and forecast products are collected and analyzed in order to produce accurate, up-to-date forecasts. Some locations are in very data-sparse regions, making the forecaster's job even more challenging.
They receive additional broadcast training from the Defense Information School at Fort G. Meade, Md. This annual training helps them create professional, broadcast-quality shows. They are also trained on the graphic and audio technology used to create weather broadcasts. The shows are built using the same software, computers, and recording equipment used for commercial weather broadcasts- and to create blockbuster animated films.
The shows are still the most popular AFN television segments to date. They currently have 2.5 million viewers by direct satellite, in addition to online viewers at the AFNWC website. The AFNWC also provides daily overseas weather forecasts for global publication in Stars and Stripes newspapers, with more than 350, 000 readers.
55th Wing Public Affairs
109 Washington Square, Suite 221