WRAL-TV is taking weather forecasting to where the weather is: outside! On Thursday, November 9, 2023, the station debuted the WRAL Weather Patio during the 4p and 5p newscasts.
“It will be great to experience the weather first-hand instead of being indoors all day!” said WRAL-TV Meteorologist Mike Maze.
The WRAL team does not remember when the idea originated for an outside studio; it has been a dream for a while.
The idea is now a reality, located in WRAL Azalea Gardens outside the back corner of the studio building.
Creating the patio was a CBC team effort. The WRAL Engineering team of Fred Kelly, Josh Knapp, Allen Palmer, Richard Danchi and Pete Sockett, created the Technology design. The CBC Property Management crew of Rodney Collier and Ken Sandy were responsible for the Patio design. WRAL-TV Production Manager James Ford and his crew ran the test recordings and led the way with what the actual camera shot will look like.
In true WRAL fashion, Mother Nature made sure to make a special backdrop for the debut of the WRAL Weather Patio with a record-breaking weather day. Temperatures reached 83°, which is a record for November.
“I’m excited that it’s finally happened. We’ve been talking about this for many many years. It’s going to be a fabulous addition. I can’t wait to see our meteorologists out on the WRAL Weather Patio in the snow!”
– WRAL-TV Weather Executive Producer Aimee Wilmoth
For now the WRAL Weather Patio will be used on the 4pm and 5pm newscasts, and for noon newscasts on cloudy days.
“We plan to start testing next week with augmented reality graphics,” explained WRAL-TV Weather Executive Producer Aimee Wilmoth. “This will allow us to eventually use the WRAL Weather Patio in the mornings too. That morning sunshine has made it quite tricky to properly light our talent without having a glare on the monitor!”
The WRAL Weather Team is thrilled to have the new home and new tool in the gardens.
“I’m excited to see the sun while at work!” said WRAL-TV Meteorologist Mike Maze. “We study weather, so it will be nice to actually be out in the weather and share that with our viewers.”
Maze agreed, “Plus it’s the perfect setting. I mean, who doesn’t want to be out in the WRAL Gardens?”
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Aimee Wilmoth for these CapCom photos.