What just happened? The Weather Channel is using technology from Epic to help its viewers visualize the deadly storm surge that Hurricane Florence may be capable of producing. It’s dramatic and frightening but if it saves even one life, it’ll be worth it.
It is one thing to hear and try to imagine what a nine-foot wall of water might look like outside your home but it’s another thing entirely to actually see it. Through a partnership between The Weather Group and The Future Group forged earlier this year, that’s exactly what we’re getting now from The Weather Channel.
Using the Unreal Engine, The Weather Channel was able to create a mixed reality broadcast that’s reasonably convincing. Some will no doubt call it little more than fearmongering on the part of The Weather Channel but if visuals like this are enough to convince people to evacuate, so be it.
Michael Potts, Weather Channel’s vice president of design, said it was created to evoke the automatic visceral reaction, to imagine that this could be real. Potts added that people are sharing it with friends and family as a warning tool and that the amount of engagement they’ve seen across various platforms has been some of the highest they’ve ever seen.
Florence made landfall earlier today and is expected to batter the Carolinas over the coming days.