Deployed Guardsman Uses Station’s Online Video to Give Family Tornado Info

National Guardsman Paul Pritt, deployed in Kuwait some 8,000 miles away from his wife and daughter back in Lakeland, Tenn., used the online video of WMC-TV 5 (Memphis) and Baron Service’s advanced weather tracking service, along with the power of instant messaging, to keep his family aware of tornado conditions after their power went out the night of Feb. 5.

Pritt relayed to his family what he was seeing on WMC’s online streaming video of its weather coverage including the Baron VIPIR system and the new Baron Tornado Index (BTI). Pritt continued updating the family until they were safe and the severe weather threat had ended.

“I’m 8,000 miles away watching [WMC Chief Meteorologist] Dave Brown do the weather and talking to my daughter all at once,” said Paul Pritt. “It was kind of an incredible moment.”

Weather coverage at WMC includes a 1 million W Baron radar system.

The public outreach provided by WMC through its online video streaming and weather detection tools received an encouraging community response, the station said. “The BTI is the single greatest advancement in Baron software since VIPIR,” said Brown. “It is easy to understand—every time the BTI hit seven, eight or nine, we had a confirmed tornado. We were able to give a 10- to 15-minute warning before the tornado got there. And viewers really stayed with us: one quarter-hour we had a 31 rating. That is phenomenal.”