If you’ve noticed some visual changes to The Weather Channel over the past year, you most likely have Chesterfield to thank. He’s developed breathtaking segments, transforming data into tangible information for viewers through immersive, multi-reality technology. Chesterfield and his team have allowed The Weather Channel team of experts to bring viewers inside of the storm in order to educate and inform them ahead of the peak of hurricane season. Making an impact through these innovations is precisely what Chesterfield set out to do when he joined the network. “There is nothing more frustrating than getting the forecast right only to find out that it did not have the intended impact because it was not understood by the audience. The media industry, in particular the Weather Channel, has and continues to provide me with the opportunity to develop new and improved methods to present what can at times be lifesaving weather information.”
What has been your biggest professional accomplishment to date?
At the start of 2018 I was charged with leading the implementation and on-air integration of Immersive Mixed Reality (IMR) segments into The Weather Channel’s weather presentation. These hyper-realistic experiences have enabled The Weather Channel to take viewers inside a storm in previously unimaginable ways leading to enhanced storytelling capabilities which has enabled us to reach our goals of informing and educating our audience particularly during times of severe weather. Using the power of advanced, real-time graphic renderings and visual effects powered by the Unreal Engine, my amazing team and I have led the production of several high-end experiences that have garnered positive national attention. Whether it was destroying our studio with a virtual tornado, walking the viewers through the horrors of a wildfire, or flooding a suburban environment to show what the forecast storm surge was going to look like ahead of an approaching hurricane it is clear that this project has already begun to fundamentally change weather presentation. For proof of this success look no further than our IMR Surge-FX product which went viral receiving over 20 million video views and had a earned media reach of 585 million unique monthly visitors. The most rewarding part to me is that the feedback we received from actual viewers tells us that the message is getting through while the most exciting part is the fact that we are just getting started and the best is yet to come.
What attracted you to this industry?
As a meteorologist I’ve always been determined to find avenues to improve weather related messaging particularly as it relates to communicating weather related disaster forecast information. There is nothing more frustrating than getting the forecast right only to find out that it did not have the intended impact because it was not understood by the audience. The media industry, in particular the Weather Channel, has and continues to provide me with the opportunity to develop new and improved methods to present what can at times be lifesaving weather information.