WRUF-TV6 partners with UF to keep campus, community safe
University of Florida meteorologist Jeff Huffman is 662 miles from his hometown of Dexter, Mo., but he is no stranger to severe weather.
Huffman has been tracking storm systems throughout the United States for nine years and helped build WRUF-TV6 at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. The station, which broadcasts in-depth weather information, news and Gator sports 24-hours-a-day, is now going through its second hurricane season and will be tested with the recent formation of Tropical Storm Isaac.
“It’s a great opportunity for to provide information that our viewers might not otherwise get,” said Huffman on the ability to bring local weather forecasting to UF. “In the age of digital media we are able to provide these live streaming briefings and we’re going to do that throughout the storm.”
Huffman has been working closely with the University of Florida News Bureau to keep the entire UF campus informed about Tropical Storm Isaac, holding daily briefings, tweeting urgent storm updates (@GatorWeather) and producing live shows for WRUF-TV6.
“This is a really great resource we have here at UF and we love the fact that we’re able to use this whenever we can to help get out that word,” said Steve Orlando, director of the UF News Bureau. “We learned this lesson back in 2004 when four hurricanes hit Florida and that’s when we really started using this multi-platform scenario.”
The University has updated the campus homepage to distribute Huffman’s most recent forecasts on Isaac.
“Now we have so many ways to get the message out, there’s really no excuse for anybody not to know what’s going on,” said Orlando.
Aiding in the storm tracking are eight meteorologists in training (MITs), working with Huffman to provide constant updates throughout the duration of the storm.
WRUF-TV6 will air 12 Isaac updates a day in addition to the 2 p.m. daily briefing and will cut in with live updates as needed.
“For us to be able to use the resources that the College has for the betterment of not only the university and the campus, but also for the community.” said Randy Wright, executive director of the division of the College’s Division of Multimedia Properties. “Hurricanes can turn anyway they want and whenever they want and we have to be on our game.”