Updated: Tuesday, 01 May 2012, 1:32 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 01 May 2012, 1:32 PM EDT
WXedge.com is for the die-hard weather buffs and the curiosity seekers. It's an in-your-face, non-stop barrage of weather that's hard to ignore. The visuals are flashy, the knowledge deep, but it’s the interactive nature of the site that really draws people to it.
From the over-the-top weather fan to the everyday observer, WXedge.com thrives on what contributors bring to the table. Combine that with the insight of the News 8 weather team and you have a place to go that is truly on the cutting edge. It’s so much more than just the forecast.
"There are weather fanatics all over the place, but they never really had a voice," says Meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin.
Meteorologist Gil Simmons noted, "So many people want to give a perspective on weather and how it impacts them or their ideas."
Meteorologist Sam Kantrow notes that everyday weather to what is going on right now is featured on the site, along with the current forecast. But WXedge.com is a lot more than that. The biggest thing is the contributors.
After launching over two months ago, WXedge.com has had over 200 contributors sign up from more than 80 towns across the state. 200 people with 200 different perspectives on weather, and that's what increases the diversity of the site. It's really become a one stop shop for everything weather in Connecticut.
WXedge.com is quickly changing to accommodate the insights and interests of its contributors. In fact, it highlights a unique connection to the local community, making our contributors truly essential to the site's success. Whether you are a weather diehard, or just impacted by what's going on outside, your input is what really makes this site move. It gives anyone interested an opportunity to contribute to WXedge.com in a way that they chose.
From students and writers to photographers and firefighters, everyone has a viewpoint they bring to the table. "It's kind of cool to see the perspectives that some of them have," says Meteorologist Erica Grow.
It allows the News8 meteorologists to get more in depth with weather, from the technical weather discussion, to talking about weather in the past. And it's not just the meteorologists who make an impression.
A regular weather die-hard since the age of five, Steven Barabas of Southbury quickly turned his fear of weather extremes into a passion. He's not only a student of meteorology at Western Connecticut State University, he also lives the science in the most literal of ways. With a bit of ingenuity, Barabas has turned his own truck into a moving weather machine. Armed with gadgets, meteorological knowledge, and a bit of courage, he has set out across the country to chase storms.
"To me, it's a little more dangerous to be doing this sort of things up here because of the trees and power lines," Barabas said in reference to storm chasing locally versus in the mid-west. "I think in the end, it will really help me advance myself as a weather forecaster."
WXedge.com is much more than storm chasers, it's a teaching tool as well. Erica Campbell, a teacher in Orange, uses the site to explore the world of teaching. This self-proclaimed weather buff had her eyes to the sky at an early age, and became one of the first weather watchers at the once Action News 8, now News 8. From history, to math equations, Campbell folds weather into everyday teaching moments.
"I really just integrate it with everything," exclaimed Campbell. "It's kind of why I became a teacher, because then I can do my love of teaching, and my love of the kids, and also do the weather as well."
Having contributors on the ground will help focus on the immediacy of weather, helping to keep the state "in the know" when weather reveals its dark side.
It's a forum, to explore much more than the basics. We're folks share everything they see and hear. "The interaction, that's going to be really huge with this site," says Kantrow. "Those are the people who can give us information in a severe weather situation. It will be a totally different ballgame and help save people's lives."
After all, staying safe is what it's all about!