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Weather Channel Demonstrates Dangers Of Hurricane Florence Using Mixed Reality

MR & AR technology showcase the potential destruction of the cat 2 storm currently hitting the Carolina states.

Torrential rain, wind speeds of up to 110 miles per hour, coastal deterioration, massive flooding; these are just a handful of the dangers Carolina residents will endure as Hurricane Florence begins its battering of the lower East Coast. Even with mandatory evacuations of Virginia and the Carolina’s currently underway, officials expect heavy damage and casualties as a result of the deadly weather.

For those who may be struggling to grasp the full magnitude of the incredibly dangerous situation, The Weather Channel has employed the use of immersive mixed reality technology to better demonstrate just how nasty things are about to get for coastal southerners. Powered by Unreal Engine 4, the system places Weather Channel reporters into an augmented version of the storm, accurately displaying the severity of potential flooding by raising the water levels around their staff in real-time.

Additional effects, such as automobiles floating past homes, downed power lines, and various other destruction further enhance the terror as reporters stand helplessly at the center of the chaos.

“The business that we’re in is safety,” spoke Michael Potts, The Weather Channel’s vice president of design, during an interview with The Verge. “The weather is a visceral, physical thing, and we’re trying to recreate that in the most realistic way possible.”

This isn’t the first time Weather Channel has utilized MR to demonstrate violent weather patterns. Developed in partnership with mixed reality company Future Universe, the channel unveiled the technology during a demonstration of a 135mph tornado.

While not as visually-impressive as Weather Channel’s MR studio, USA Today is offering their own Florence-related AR content via their official smartphone app. Available now on iOS & Android, users can plant an augmented weather map on any flat surface in the real-world and watch as real-time updates delivered by the USA TODAY Storm Tracker API track the storms predicted path, wind speed and category strength.

Simply open the USA Today app, head to the “Top Stories” section, select a flat surface, and calibrate!

Image Credit: The Weather Channel / USA Today

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