2019 Broadcast Weather Report

2019 Earth Networks Weather ReportWe asked nearly 3,000 respondents who look at weather information about how, when, and why they check the weather. Our goal was to help broadcast stations like yours optimize your content to retain and gain viewers. 

This broadcast weather report includes the latest trends on how people check the weather and their motivations for doing so. Use the clickable table of contents below to jump to different areas of this report. You can jump back up to the table at any time by clicking “Back to Top.”


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Weather Forecasts

In today’s day and age, there are tons of different ways to get the weather forecast. Between weather apps, websites, and home weather stations, many are left wondering: Are people really watching your weather broadcasts on their TVs anymore? And if so, why?

“What’s the Weather?”

While weather technology and forecast delivery may be changing, one thing is not: People’s interest in the weather forecast itself. According to our survey, over 70% of people check the weather between one and three times per day.

How frequently do you check weather information? 49.7% Once per day, 23.9% three times per day, 12% once every three days, 7.7% five times a day or more, 6.8% once per week or less

Checking the weather forecast at least once per day is something 50% of all respondents do, with nearly 8% of all respondents checking over five times per day!

Weather Forecast Consumption

Professional looking man checking the weather forecast on his smart phone Over 90% of people consume weather information primarily through TV, mobile weather applications, and the Internet. Interestingly enough, many broadcast stations have their own mobile apps which provide hyperlocal forecasts and allow their audience to engage with them on multiple fronts.

These results confirm that strategy is working. The key to success is combining the hyperlocal nature of the broadcast weather segment to the convenience of a mobile app.

Another noteworthy fact is the similar score between TV and websites, highlighting the continued relevance TV has as a go-to information medium. While it’s no surprise that newspapers are an outdated form of checking the weather, respondents also showed a strong distaste for checking weather forecasts on social media.

What is your primary method for checking weather information? 69.1% Mobile weather apps, 13.4% web, 13.2% TV, 2.1% radio, 1.6% social media, 0.7% newspaper

Why TV Forecasts?

There are plenty of people still relying on the weather segment of the news as their primary source for weather information. Why do they do this instead of using apps or checking websites? While timing and accuracy have something to do with it, hyperlocal weather stations are the big reason why viewers choose TV over other mediums.

Why do you choose TV over other mediums? Convenient weather segment time slot (13.7%) Live images of your city (6.3%) Engaging weather anchor (6.0%) Localized weather information (60.4%) Community engagement (1.2%) Accurate weather report (12.5%)

Over 60% of respondents enjoy hyperlocal forecasts because these reports are accurate for their neighborhood or community.

When to Check Weather Forecasts?

Over 40% of respondents indicated they consume weather information via TV early in the morning.

What TV newscast time is the most important one for you? Early AM before heading out 40.2%, Evening for commute/dinner 28.6% Late-night for planning for the next day 22.9%, Noontime for lunch planning 8.3%

This is understandable since planning outdoor activities, getting ready for work or school, and planning transportation are the 3 main reasons all respondents check the weather.

What do you use weather information for? Planning outdoor activities 68.4%, Getting ready for work or school 64.4%, Planning tranportation 31.2%, Safety planning 23.4%, Other 8.4%, Education 7.2%

Weather Segments Compared to Other Broadcast Segments

Speaking of TV Stations, do you know which segments your viewers care the most about? The weather portion of the news is considered very important to the news program’s appeal. In fact, over 50% of respondents feel that the weather forecast is “extremely important” or “very important” when deciding which channel to watch.

Rank how important the weather portion of a broadcast is when deciding what news channel to watch: Extremely Important 19.1%, Very Important 31.7%, Somewhat Important 27.8%, Not So Important 10.8%, Not At All Important 10.6%

That means improving your weather forecast can have a large return on investment for your local TV station.

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Crafting A Differentiated Weather Broadcast

Now that we know TV weather broadcasts are a viable source of weather information due to their hyperlocal nature, it’s time to dive into what factors make the best weather broadcasts.

Axis weather camera view

Aside from being hyperlocal, accurate, and convenient, the most important things viewers look for in a winning weather segment are live local images. In fact, live videos of current weather conditions are considered even more impactful than the choice of weather anchor! That’s just another tip to keep in mind as you optimize your weather broadcast.

Crafting the Ideal Weather Segment

Man watching the weather on the news on TVCreating the ideal weather segment for your viewers can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

We help our broadcast partners integrate real-time weather data and camera feeds to create a more compelling weather broadcast. There are also organizations you can partner with to help build a sense of community around your station while mitigating cost.

For example, a local school could split a weather station with you or a nearby business can sponsor a weather camera installation and ongoing broadcast segment. Helping create these win-win situations is one of the reasons why our broadcasts stations love working with us. Contact us today to learn how you can become part of our broadcast family.

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