WeatherStar III (now calls it WeatherStar 3000 because of the introduction of the WeatherStar 4000) was an enhanced version the previous WeatherStar model, the WeatherStar II. At that time of it's deployment the FCC began a plan to create more room for geosynchronous satellites, thus The Weather Channel needed to change the way their current WeatherStar were receiving data. It first appeared in 1986.
With some help from Wegener Communications & 2 million dollars later, TWC had once again upgraded the WeatherStar. When hooked up @ these cable companies, the WeatherStar 3000 would dial-up to receive the latest weather conditions & forecasts for it's local area. Then, when queued by TWC, the WeatherStar III would override TWC's viewing signal with its current conditions & forecast broadcast product & transmit that through cable wires to it's viewer's TV sets. The WeatherStar 3000 performed much more smoothly than the WeatherSTAR I. In 2004, the FCC decommissioned the WeatherStar 3000 because of it's inability to sound an audible tone after the first display of a weather warning.
Standard Features Edit
The WeatherStar 3000 is similar to the WeatherStar Jr., but with a pixelized font that only uses capitalized letters. The features include:
Current Conditions - Displays the current weather, winds, barometric pressure, temperature, visibility, dewpoint, heat index/wind chill & current monthly precipitation for your area.
Latest Hourly Observations - Shows the current weather conditions (weather, temperature, winds) in 7 nearby cities.
Conditions Across The Region - Shows the current conditions in 7 major cities in the region. Also featured some Canadian & Mexican cities along the borders.
36 Hour Forecast - The forecast for your area over the next 36 hours. Provided by the National Weather Service until 2002. Provided by TWC from 03-04.
Almanac - Shows the local sunrise/sunset times for your area, as well as the average high & low temperatures.
Forecast Across The Region - The forecast for 7 major cities in the region.
Travel Cities Forecast - The forecast for major cities across the USA.
Extended Forecast - A weather forecast for the next 3 days (when shown on a Monday, the forecast would be for Wednesday, Thursday & Friday). Originally a 1-2 page, often incomprehensible paragraph directly from the NWS, this was later simplified into 1 page with 3 columns (example:
MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY Sunny PARTLY SHOWERS CLOUDY HI: 98 HI: 93 HI: 96 LO: 81 LO: 74 LO: 80
30 Day Outlook - A prediction from NWS which predicts what the temperatures & precipitation going to be like in the next 30 days (above average, normal, or below average). Discontinued in 1997.
Tides - Showed the high & low tides for 2 locations, as well as local sunrise/sunset times. Replaced the Almanac in coastal areas.
Warning Scroll - Displayed weather watches & warnings on a red scroll (which would only tone @ the beginning of the first display of a warning) & special weather statements & advisories on a tan scroll. The fact that the Star 3000 could only tone once was the main reason for its decommissioning.
In addition, the WeatherSTARs I-III had a jack on the back of the unit that could be used to connect via phone line to the local NWS radar feed. Only a few cable companies took advantage of this feature, which usually replaced the 30 Day Outlook. Sometimes, the cable company would put the radar feed on a separate channel with audio from NOAA Weather Radio
From 1986-1988, TWC would air decorative backgrounds during their local forecasts. Then, depending on the cable company, the WeatherSTAR III unit would either output only text or override the national feed & use it's standard purple background. Occasionally, the national feed would be accidentally knocked out, in which case the STAR would go back to it's purple background. In 1988, TWC discontinued the backgrounds after receiving complaints that many of them made the STAR's white text hard to read. At this time, the satellite forecast had not yet been created, so satellite viewers would see only the backgrounds (or a black screen) with music.
1986: After several hardware upgrades, the WeatherStar II is dubbed the WeatherStar III. TWC begins broadcasting it's decorative backgrounds for the local forecast.
1988: The decorative backgrounds are discontinued after complaints are received that many of them made it hard to read the Weatherstar III's text.
1989: The first version of the satellite forecast, an interrupted-scrolling Travel Cities Forecast on a black background, is created.
Early 1990: The WeatherStar 4000 debuts in select cable systems & the first signs of the WeatherStar 3000 Degradation was reported. Also @ the same time, the WeatherStar III began being dubbed as the "WeatherStar 3000", though it's official name remains the same.
February 20, 1991: The L Flavor Local Forecast is born.
July 1991: Dan Chandler re-records the narration for the WeatherStar 3000.
Fall 1992: Dan Chandler does one final set of narration for the WeatherStar 3000. Also, the 36 Hour Forecast is now narrated to have come from NWS.
Fall 1993: The Extended Forecast becomes simplified - The text forecast from the NWS is replaced with a tri-column quick glance 3 day forecast. Also, widespread signs of the WeatherSTAR 3000 degradation had been reported. Plus, the page title for the 36 hour forecast changes from "NWS 36 HOUR FORECAST - ZONE XXXX" to just "NWS 36 HOUR FORECAST" on the first page.
April 1995: Dan Chandler's narration had been discontinued.
November 2002: The page title for the 36 hour forecast changes from "NWS 36 HOUR FORECAST" on the 1st page to "YOUR TWC FORECAST" on all 3 pages. This is due to TWC's discontinuation of using NOAA's text forecasts in place of TWC's own text forecasts.
December 31, 2004: The WeatherStar III was put out of commission by the FCC because it did not have the capacity to sound an aural tone each time a severe weather alert displayed on screen. Although it was a fixable situation, it would have cost TWC millions of dollars to make such a hardware upgrade to a 20+ year old computer.
Flavor Lineups on the WeatherStar III Edit
(Minutes and Seconds)
| Segments Featured
|A||0:50||Current Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast & Latest Observations||April 1990|
|B||0:50||Latest Observations, Almanac & Extended Forecast||April 1990|
|C||1:00||Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast & Regional Forecast||April 1990|
|D||1:00||Latest Observations, Almanac, 36 Hour Forecast & Regional Conditions|
|E||1:00||36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & Latest Observations|
|F||1:00||Current Conditions, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast & Almanac||February 1992|
|G||0:30||36 Hour Forecast||1989|
|H||1:00||36 Hour Forecast, Regional Forecast, Almanac & Latest Observations|
|I||0:30||Current Conditions, Regional Conditions & Regional Forecast||1990||1989|
|I||0:30||Current Conditions, Latest Observations & Regional Conditions||December 1992|
|J/LL||October 1987||3:00||Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Almanac, Regional Forecast, Travel Cities Forecast, Extended Forecast & 30 Day Outlook||1998|
|K||October 1987||1:30||Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Conditions, Regional Forecast, 36 Hour Forecast & Extended Forecast||June 1990||March 1989|
|K||June 1990||1:30||Current Conditions, Almanac, Regional Forecast, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & Latest Observations||September 2004|
|L||February 1991||2:00||Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Conditions, Regional Forecast, Almanac, 36 Hour Forecast & Extended Forecast|
|M||2:00||36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & Travel Cities Forecast|
|N||5:00||Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Almanac, Regional Forecast, Travel Cities Forecast, Extended Forecast, Current Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Extended Forecast & 30 Day Outlook||1991|
|O||6:00||Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Almanac, Regional Forecast, Travel Cities Forecast, Extended Forecast, 30 Day Outlook, Current Conditions, Latest Observations, Regional Conditions, 36 Hour Forecast, Almanac, Regional Forecast, Travel Cities Forecast, Extended Forecast & 30 Day Outlook||1988|
|P||1:00||Current Conditions, Almanac, 36 Hour Forecast & Regional Conditions||April 1990|
|Q||0:50||36 Hour Forecast & Extended Forecast||April 1990|