NBC Weather Plus was a 24-hour, commercially-sponsored, weather-oriented broadcast/cable television network jointly owned by NBC Universal and its broadcast affiliates of NBC. It debuted on November 152004. The network's headquarters is located at the CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The service is broadcast on digital subchannels of certain NBC affiliates in the United States, and is available on digital cable systems. NBC Weather Plus's main competitor is The Weather Channel (which NBCU announced on July 7, 2008 their intent to purchase)
and AccuWeather's own Local AccuWeather Channel, on October 8, 2008, NBC announced that NBC Weather Plus would be shut down by the end of 2008. Since that announcement, Weather Plus has scaled back dramatically. On its cable channel there are no longer OCM segments, instead weather maps roll with music. Many NBC affiliates have removed the "Weather Plus" branding from their broadcasts. Additionally, Weather Plus weather-casters and meteorologists that remain are now referred as NBC or "The Weather Channel" Meteorologists. They continue to use the same maps as with weather plus, but now have the Weather Channel branding and topic bar. NBC Weather Plus is scheduled to be shut down by Monday, December 1, 2008. Some talents have not been seen on air since the OCM segments have been stopped. However, others like Bill Karins, Jeff Ranieri, Gary Archibald and Todd Santos have been seen on MSNBC and NBC.
The local forecasts are the part of NBC Weather Plus' programming schedule which viewers see the current conditions and local forecast for their respective area. These forecasts are usually shown after most national forecast segments. Pre-recorded weather segments featuring local weather information from meteorologists of local NBC affiliates are shown proceeding weather information.
Viewers can see current weather conditions for their location and surrounding areas, weather forecasts, doppler radars of the region, and the day's actual high and low temperatures.
WNBC in New York was the test station for NBC Weather Plus.
Internet viewers who see the national feed, including those areas where the network's website does not supply a certain city's Weather Plus feed, things are different for its viewers. During this time, the segment includes daily forecasts for each region of the United States and satellite loops and Doppler radars of the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Northwest, and Southwest, respectively.
Music for the local forecasts comes mostly from commercially available music, including those composed by 615 Music, who composed the music package used by NBC Weather Plus.
Appearance on other networks
The channel's staff also provides weather updates for fellow NBC Universal cable channels CNBC and MSNBC, and MSNBC airs 'sample' hours of the channel in holiday periods during the morning hours. In addition, Weather Plus is promoted during Football Night in America, and is used to provide gametime temperature and conditions for the later NBC Sunday Night Football game. Increasingly during times of significant national weather events (such as a major winter storm system), Weather Plus meteorologists will appear live on NBC Nightly News to provide analysis.
The "L" Bar
NBC Weather Plus uses an "L-Bar" across the left side third and bottom third of the screen to continuously air local weather information, even during commercial breaks, national weather, and Weather Plus University.
The left side of the bar is reserved for sponsorship of Weather Plus programming on the top left (sponsors of NBC Weather Plus' programming is more often seen on local feeds), the middle left displays the sky condition, temperature, wind speed/direction and humidity for each city and the bottom left is reserved for station identification (on local feeds, featuring the NBC affiliate's logo augmented above the Weather Plus portion of the logo) and current time is on the lower left.
The cycle for each city's weather information display are as follows:
The current condition display cycle for one city runs for 30 seconds.
The 24-hour forecast cycle runs 15 seconds.
The five-day forecast cycle runs 15 seconds.
However, the above does not hold true for the left side of the L-Bar on Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA. Instead, the current conditions cycle continuously and the time is on the right-hand side in the lower-third.
The bottom of the bar to the right of the time and station ID displays the forecast for the next 24 hours featuring sky condition, temperature and estimated precipitation, followed by the five day forecast showing sky condition and predicted high and low temperatures. Occasionally, the current conditions display shows the icons telling the sky condition with the icon displaying sun despite it being nighttime. This also occurs on The Weather Channel but usually only in the hour following sunset. Not all cities where the current conditions are displayed on the left side of the "L" bar feature that city's forecast and may instead use the conditions of the closest reporting station to that community. Example: Dallas NBC affiliate KXAS' Weather Plus feed displays the current conditions for Alliance Airport but shows the forecast for Dallas-Fort Worth.
Digital television and cable viewers can see current weather conditions and weather forecasts for their location and surrounding areas, while internet viewers who see the national feed instead of a local feed, the bar displays current conditions and daily forecasts for 50 U.S. cities.
To fulfill FCC E/I requirements, NBC Weather Plus shows Weather Plus University, continuing to show the L-Bar on air during educational programming.
The following list is the current programming lineup provided by NBC Weather Plus (as of September 2007). Note that some network segments may have a different title at times due to a sponsor for the forecast such as State Farm Road Coverage, which replaces Coast To Coast Forecast.
Top of hour-:04 past the half-hour
:04-:06 past the half-hour
Coast To Coast Forecast
:07.30-:09.30 past the half-hour
:09.30-:13.30 past the half-hour
Severe Weather Outlook
:15-:19 past the half-hour
:19-:21 past the half-hour
Plus Five Forecast
:22.30-:24.30: past the half-hour
:25.00-bottom of half-hour
National feature segment or affiliate report spotlight
During severe weather, stations can choose to drop the national segments in favor of local coverage; the NBC Weather Plus control room can then choose to show that feed nationally during the Coast To Coast Forecast or the Plus Five Forecast, depending on what part of the programming cycle the network is in. The local broadcast is shown live if possible.
NBC Weather Plus also aired the "NBC Weather Plus Weather Alert," which interrupted regular programming when a breaking weather story occurs. Breaking severe weather news and images from a particular NBC affilate may be shown.
To fulfill FCC E/I requirements, NBC Weather Plus showed Weather Plus University on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
In late October 2008, the national OCM segments have been phased out, as well as some of the local Weather Plus systems. This leaves with only six minute music forecast segments and commercial breaks. With this, the remaining OCM staff of the channel are now referred to on other NBC News programs as only "NBC meteorologists".
At least one station (WXIA-TV 11.2 Atlanta) showed the state's election results by coloring each county red or blue.
NBC announced on October 7, 2008 that Weather Plus would be phased out by the end of the year, after the NBC affiliates expressed a desire to shut the service down. Though NBC cited its purchase of The Weather Channel as a factor in the shutdown, it has been stated that the closure would have happened even if the acquisition had not happened.
According to NBC, Weather Plus will begin its phase-out late November, with its closure date set for December 12008.