Have you noticed that the First Alert Weather Team isn't sporting any green, even though today is St. Patrick's Day? Well before you pinch, give us a pass! There's a solid reason why we meteorologists can't wear green.
When you're at home watching the morning news, it may seem on your television that I'm standing directly in front of a map with lots of temperatures on it. In reality though, all that I'm in front of is a blank green wall! Here on the set we call the green wall the "chromakey," and it's an important tool in our on-air forecasts.
Here's how it works. The camera pointed at the chromakey routes back to our control room, where the director has programmed it to replace anything green with weather graphics. That allows us to display our maps and images on your screen instead of a blank green space!
The problem is, when I say that the camera will replace anything green with weather graphics, I really mean ANYTHING! If I were to wear green clothing, the camera would render me transparent. I had a little fun testing this out on-air with Morning News Anchor Joy Redmond (who was an excellent sport!) and demonstrated what happens when a person wears green in front of the chromakey.
The green that's on Joy isn't from her shirt, it's from the map "behind" her! Notice how you can see the county lines through her torso? And the town of Natchez? That's the camera and the chromakey at work!
So the First Alert Weather Team may not be sporting green today, but we do hope you have a fantastic St. Patrick's Day, and wear a little extra emerald for us!
Morning Meteorologist Julia Weiden