Weatherscan XL as seen from late 2000 until 2003
|Release date:||March 31, 1999|
|Status:||Retired – Decommissioned by The Weather Channel in 2004.|
|Visual output:||Standard definition|
|Available add-ons||Vocal Local|
Weatherscan Local was an American cable television network operated by The Weather Channel. Unlike its parent network, Weatherscan Local provided a continuous loop of local weather information, lifestyle-related tips, and, in select affiliates, traffic information, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Weatherscan Local was powered by a modified Weather Star XL unit and provided music built into the system. In 2003, an IntelliStar-based unit that would eventually become its successor was rolled out, with a simplified name, Weatherscan. By 2004, all XL based Weatherscan Local units had been replaced by IntelliStar units or decommissioned.
The channel launched on March 31, 1999, as Weatherscan Local. Originally, Weatherscan operated five collective services for local weather information: Weatherscan Local featured animated weather information with a complete local weather segment every two minutes; Weatherscan Radar featured a continuous Doppler radar loop, along with severe weather advisories when warranted; Weatherscan Plus – which debuted on April 30, 1999 – featured activity-specific forecasts for golf, skiing, boating, beachgoing, and business and leisure travel; Weatherscan Plus Traffic – which launched on May 31, 1999 – featured the same format as Weatherscan Plus with the inclusion of traffic information; Weatherscan Espanol, which launched with Weatherscan Plus Traffic, was a Spanish-language version of Weatherscan Plus allowing regional or international weather information.
- Weatherscan Local debuts, showing only a 2 minute long local forecast back to back. The only song that was used was a two minute cut of "TSLF-01" by Trammell Starks. (Named by TWC as "Fair Weather".)
- Weatherscan Local gets a new look. The weather icons' animation was removed (they were animated prior to this update) and are now still icons.
- New products are added to several Weatherscan Locals nationwide, including health, airports, and the Spanish forecast, among others. Some Weatherscans have been reported to still show only the local forecast back to back.
- An entire album of Trammell Starks music is now played instead of just Fair Weather. Some Weatherscan Local machines did not receive this update until late 2002.
- Vocal Local Narration also debuts by TWC staff announcer Allen Jackson, but only two screens had narration at the time, for the Current Conditions, "your current conditions", and for the 36 Hour Forecast, "the forecast for your area." Optionally, at the discretion of the headend, a member of The Weather Channel Radio Network would narrate the forecast data.
- Weatherscan Local's local forecast now comes directly from The Weather Channel instead of the National Weather Service. This change occurred on Weatherscan Local earlier than the WeatherStars uesd on TWC.
- Some weather icons are updated to better match with ones used on air on The Weather Channel.
- The maximum/minimum temperature positions on the Extended Forecast are switched.
- A Weather Bulletin page is added in the beginning of the "Your Local Forecast" segment, replacing the alerts bulletin built into the 36 hour forecast.
- The icon captions on the current conditions and extended forecast change from uppercase to mixed case, and is more detailed rather than using abbreviated captions (i.e. "Partly Cloudy" instead of "P CLOUDY").
- The moon phase icons are updated in accordance with the domestic Weather Star XL's graphics update.
- By this point, all Weatherscan XL units have been decommissioned in favor of the IntelliStar.
When Weatherscan Local debuted in 1999, there was also a national version of the channel that was used for satellite companies and smaller cable companies that could not afford Weatherscan Local. This channel featured current temperatures and the forecast for the next several days for select cities throughout the United States, as well as national and regional radar images. This channel was named simply "Weatherscan". This feed was pulled by most headends in 2001, and was discontinued by 2003 with the roll-out of the IntelliStar platform.