In 1997, we were broadcasting audio only covering Hurricanes with the "Weather Information Network". At the beginning of hurricane season 1998, HurricaneCity & WIN covered hurricane George's hitting Puerto Rico. Broadcast's began at HurricaneCity.com in 1998/1999 while located in Pompano Beach, Florida. In 2004 the setup was moved to Delray Beach, Fla and the process began for producing live video which would eventually become hurricane TV.
We felt continuous coverage of hurricanes making landfall would inform and entertain listeners as well as allow visitors to interact with the broadcast by calling our observers & taking calls during hurricane warnings and other major weather events. Studio shot.
Jim Williams, the host of the broadcast, handles most of the technical detail & broadcasting. Barbara Williams (wife) also helps on audio with commercials and updates. Bill Phillips in Virginia Beach handles quite a bit of the severe weather coverage by streaming media from any affected areas. The network also has approx 150 observers nationwide & in the Caribbean that provide us information on severe weather via telephone (provided communications are still up). If you would like to be an observer, please email Hurricane TV with your name, telephone number & city or simply email video or pictures you took during the storm & send it. You do not need to be experienced in the weather field or standing in it for that matter.
Major weather events such as hurricanes making landfall, tornadoes that hit major metro areas with many fatalities and crippling snow storms in major metropolitan areas (usually over 12" accumulation in less than 24 hrs). Major weather situations like the Superstorm of 1993 which affected whole states. Broadcasts will also take place for a major earthquake or other natural disasters which could affect hundreds of thousands of people. Otherwise you will see our looping 24 hr a day documentaries, storm chaser videos and hurricane preparation guides.
Well, usually if a major weather story breaks "suddenly" we will be live usually that same night or the entire next day depending on severity & news resources. Bill Phillips is always ready to pull the trigger on a broadcast if a tornado touches down in a metro area. If you have not already done so, please sign up to the mailing list which you can do by using the link on the subscribe menu at the top of this page. By signing up, you will get notified if we are going live. Hurricane coverage usually begins when warnings are issued for a particular area. Coverage usually ends 24 hrs after the initial disaster occurs unless news is plentiful, then we will stay on longer, sometimes for days. For example, in 2005 for Hurricane Wilma Jim Williams had technical issues due to storm damage & Bill Phillips took over. Jim was able to give live updates via cell phone & Bill took calls and emails from observers. Another example, during Hurricane Michelle in Nov 2001 we allowed listeners to hear the hurricane watch net ham radio reports for 3 days in a row 24/7 as well as the Bahamas radio network.
We only cover major weather stories, meaning "when live" you will see local TV coverage, radio, webcams, radars & damage reports as they come in. On April 28th, 2002 an F-5 Tornado touched down in Maryland. During the touchdown WABN (audio only at the time) was live with radio coverage from local radio stations as well as our own radar summary.
Well we tried to make this as much like a pro studio here in Delray Bch, Florida, the same location as HurricaneCity.com. The content originates from our office with 4 computers on a network. We also have weather equipment for monitoring such as weather data & internet streams. We also have weather software that gives us the latest updated advisories as they happen. We also monitor short wave frequencies & local scanner frequencies during local disasters. During our live broadcast in 1999, for "Hurricane Floyd", the broadcast had ham radio from the Bahamas Radio Network & listeners had a chance to hear what was happening in the Bahamas. We also stream live streaming cams wherever they are available from affected areas as there are many security cams most people don't know about that we access during hurricanes. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005 we were able to stream two live video cams from downtown New Orleans during & after Katrina. So basically during live broadcasts, the chairs are rolling back & forth constantly checking for new info and showing you what is happening from the affected areas.
We have 4 Dell workstations on a network. The studio has aspi multiple battery backup & generator to keep broadcast alive "if we get hit". NOTE: this does not guarantee our broadcasts never have problems as many things are beyond our control such as local broadband availability at our end. As far as production, we mix all sound effects, telephone calls & all other audio/video through a Eurorack mixing board with a Telos digital phone coupler & feed it through video card to the streaming computer. Take a Look.
As of 2010 we are broadcasting live video 24/7 in Adobe Flash. The older archives can be watched with Real Audio player by subscribers but the newest recorded shows as of March 2007 are available to subscribers in Flash, accessible with the name & email address they signed up with. Dial up users can watch the live video, but the more bandwidth you have the better the picture will be.
Back in 2005, we could only serve a thousand streams at one time due to bandwidth constraints. Now we can stream to unlimited amounts of viewers using Ustream's servers.
YES! Sponsorship is needed to help us absorb the cost of broadcasting. Your company will receive both banner & audio advertising. More here. During hurricane coverage your advertisements will be heard by thousands of listeners per day, as HurricaneCity draws tens of thousands of interested visitors and listeners per day. If you would like your live video presentation seen during the videocasts, please contact us for more info.
We encourage people to call us from the affected areas, but if you have important information unknown to us to be passed on to our listeners, please call our phone number when it is mentioned and posted. You can also email us at Hurricane TV with pictures & videos from your cell phone.
Please visit this page for our next show. Outside of that, we are conducting 24 hr a day broadcasting, meaning, at any time you will see looping video sometimes with Jim Williams live or recorded shows or interviews. Documentaries will be streamed 24/7 on DVD etc; with the streaming live towercam on the live feed if local conditions warrant. When a major weather story is breaking, one of our three studio broadcasters will usually be streaming something about the situation. You may hear Mark announcing new advisories issued for Kalamazoo Michigan or Bill breaking in with a tsunami warning for Maui, Hawaii. During the Tsunami threat to Hawaii in 2010 we had 4,000 viewers watching the action. Some have asked how do you get away with streaming a TV station? Don't they get mad? Actually we have had several TV stations contact us to tell us they are streaming live content and to please re-stream it. Sometimes we may stream the Weather Channel because it is passing along life saving information. The major networks we tap for minutes at a time when the situation is critical to get out the word. In a nut shell, we hope to have the most entertaining weather broadcast on the internet without focusing on just one source. The future looks bright with two goals in mind. First, with more and more cell phones producing better video & snap shots we fully expect this media to be passed along to us by observers so you can see what they are seeing. Finally, more & more streaming webcams are online in affected areas & we find them & show them to you as it is all going down. We may also be implementing our own live remote video from the scene, stay tuned.
Jim has been heard on several stations in the Atlantic basin, from N.Y. to South Florida. If you would like to have Jim on your radio show when a hurricane is coming, either call into his show or send him an email, he will be glad to accommodate you. He has tons of statistics for each area of the Atlantic basin.
From 1999 until 2003 we kept track of listeners by people who fill out the form before listening. We got rid of this feature so people can watch right away without filling out a form. The following cities & Islands had so many listeners, we stopped counting them (in alphabetical order)... Atlanta, Austin, Bahamas as a whole, Baltimore, Barbados, Baton Rouge, Beaumont Texas, Bermuda, Boston, Bradenton, FL, Cancun, Cape Coral, Fla, Cape Hatteras, Cayman Islands, Charleston, Charlotte NC, Clearwater FL, Corpus Christi, Cuba, Dallas, Daytona, Deltona FL, Detroit, England, Fort Lauderdale, Ft Myers FL, Galveston, Grand Cayman, Grand Rapids Michigan, Houston, Jacksonville, Jamaica as a whole, Key West, Kingston, Lafayette LA, Lakeland FL, London, Melbourne, Miami, Milwaukee, Mobile, Naples, Nashville TN, Nassau Bahamas, New Orleans, NY NY, Ontario, Orlando, Palm Bch, Panama City FL, Pascagoula MS, Pensacola, Pineville LA, Pittsburgh, Port Charlotte, Port St Lucie FL, Puerto Rico as a whole, Saint Petersburg Fla, San Antonio TX, Sarasota, Summerville SC, Tallahassee, Tampa, Toronto, Tulsa, U.K. as a whole, Virginia Bch, Wilmington N.C.
Donate to HurricaneCity, every penny helps.