Local News

WRAL & N&O Announce Joint Storm Tracking Site

Posted June 6, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— A new partnershipwill keep Internet users up to date on fast-changing weather conditions as soon as tropical storms begin to churn in the Atlantic Ocean.

WRAL-TV5 andThe News & Observerare creating an online hurricane tracking site for immediate and in-depth storm coverage. The goal of the new site, calledncstormtrack.com, is to inform people in threatened areas, as well as provide compelling coverage to anyone with an interest in these powerful storms.

WRAL OnLine Services Manager John Conway says the joint effort between WRAL-TV andThe News and Observerwill provide unique and rich internet site. "You'll find extensive archives of newspaper coverage of past storms, a photo gallery from past storms, as well as video and audio clips that we have recorded from previous hurricanes." The online staffs ofThe News & Observer On The Weband WRAL OnLine are working together to build and maintainncstormtrack.com.

WRAL OnLine Technical Director Jason Priebe says one unique feature is a Java-powered tracking map. "You can actually plot a number of different storms at once so you can compare their trajectories. You could take some of these plots and transfer them to the map that's going to be distributed in the paper (on June 15)."

News & ObserverExecutive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal says the newspaper and WRAL-TV remain competitors but will work together on other online projects. "We can and still compete. You see that happening in many places. You look at what's happening in media nationally. All kinds of different companies are trying to figure out how to work together because it's a new media." The existing online sites for the N&O and WRAL OnLine will continue to operate as they do now, but there will be links to ncstormtrack.comfrom both, as well as return links to each site.

ncstormtrack.comis, as we say, "under construction" right now. But it opens to Internet users Sunday, June 15. WRAL will air a hurricane special that same Sunday at 6:30 p.m., and you'll find the 1997 stormtracking map in the June 15 Sunday edition ofThe News & Observer.