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The Weather Channel’s green-screen hurricane simulation is terrifying
‘This is fine.’
Hurricane Florence made landfall as a Category 1 storm on the southern East Coast early Friday morning, bringing with it unrelenting 90 mph winds, a massive storm surge, and heavy rains that will continue to soak the Carolinas for days to come.
Speaking with NPR’s Morning Edition, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper described the storm as “an uninvited brute who doesn’t want to leave.” “We know we’re in for a long haul here,” he said of the forecast for the coming days. “But I think we’re ready.”
Many residents along the coast were issued mandatory evacuations, with forecasters warning of “life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding.” To fully drive this point home, before the storm arrived on Thursday, Weather Channel meteorologist Erika L. Navarro delivered the following report using green-screen technology to illustrate just what upwards of nine feet of water could actually look like.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) September 13, 2018
You have to give them credit for effectiveness because it was—in a word—terrifying. Like, it makes that John Cusack movie look like amateur hour. The point was not lost on Twitter, as the tweet containing the video went viral.
Scary as fuck weather report. First it's like, ah smart use of green screen, then it's like holy fucking shit. pic.twitter.com/J9SmZqTqVI
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) September 13, 2018
Maybe the best news segment I have ever seen. Actually useful to the people on the ground. Incredible use of technology that may actually save lives. https://t.co/GuP33S7tfb
— Balaji S. Srinivasan (@balajis) September 14, 2018
47 seconds into an otherwise normal weather warning, a mix of terrifying apocalypse and Moses-parting-the-sea happens, and just gets more and more grave.
I'm so scared, I might seek refuge despite being in California. https://t.co/Km80zbp9eB
— Antonio García Martínez (@antoniogm) September 14, 2018
All the designers are sharing this… and with good reason. Pretty incredible simulation. 😲 https://t.co/DZxZHwUSnC
— Daniel Burka (@dburka) September 13, 2018
Now, that’s how to properly use a green screen https://t.co/N1HKvfUcWS
— Ronan Coveney (@ronanstweets) September 14, 2018
— Debbie O'Donnell (@debbie_odonnell) September 14, 2018
Eat your heart out, CNN! pic.twitter.com/IN8MoN1NCf
— lil zyrtec (@dorseyshaw) September 13, 2018
With any luck, Navarro and company convinced at least a few people to evacuate who weren’t planning to do so. As of Friday morning, there were upwards of 20,000 people in 157 shelters across the state of North Carolina, and that number will only continue to climb as rescue efforts are currently underway.
Stacey Ritzen is a reporter and editor based in West Philadelphia with over 10 years' experience covering pop culture, web culture, entertainment, and news. You can follow her on Twitter @staceyritzen.