Weather Center Live
|Weather Center Live|
Logo used since November 12, 2013
|Country of origin||United States|
|Original network||The Weather Channel|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV),
|Original release||March 2, 2009– present|
|Preceded by||Abrams & Bettes: Beyond the Forecast, Day Planner, Evening Edition, First Forecast, On the Radar, PM Edition, Sunrise Weather, Weekend Now, Weekend View|
Weather Center Live (previously named Weather Center from its relaunch in March 2009 until May 2011) is an American weather news television program on The Weather Channel. Airing in various timeslots throughout the daytime hours and serving as The Weather Channel's de facto flagship forecast program, it features national and international weather forecasts, along with weather-related feature segments. This program, the current incarnation of Weather Center (which differs in format from the version that debuted in 1998), debuted on March 2, 2009. In October 2015, WCL started airing 5-7A ET.
Weather Center debuted in 1998 and was originally formatted as a program devoted to hard weather news. Weather Center aired for almost the entirety of The Weather Channel's schedule during its first few years. In 2000, with the additions of First Outlook and Your Weather Today, the program was reduced to daytime and evening broadcasts. Weather Center's presence on The Weather Channel's schedule decreased even further as additional forecast and long-form programs debuted; by the end of 2008, the program aired for only one hour a day during the week.
In February 2007, The Weather Channel's media kit began showing a different logo for the program; the most notable change to come from this, however, was the retitling of the program to Weather Center with Abrams & Bettes. Changes to electronic program guide schedules revealed that Weather Center would absorb the repeating overnight hour on weeknights, and that Weather Center would also be added to evenings (correlating with the merger of Evening Edition and Abrams & Bettes). The expansion of Weather Center reversed a trend of partitioning that took place between 1998 and 2003. The changes themselves were some of the most far-reaching since the 2003 addition of Day Planner, Afternoon Outlook and Weekend Outlook, itself a casualty, being replaced by Weekend View.
From May 5 to June 12, 2009, Mike Bettes left the studio to report on the Vortex 2 project, a project in which researchers spent five weeks in Tornado Alley (the region comprising the Great Plains and South Central United States that is the most climatilogically favorable for tornado development) tracking tornadoes with weather researchers in an attempt to discover more information about the formation of these storms. Throughout the entire duration of the project, Bettes reported live in the field during Weather Center with Abrams & Bettes each evening, except for instances in which the Vortex 2 project was suspended for the day due to lack of tornadic activity. Several editions of the show featured Bettes and the Vortex 2 crew actively chasing potential tornado-producing supercells; on June 5, 2009, the crew caught its first and only tornado of the year live on PM Edition, the coverage of which spilled over into the beginning of Weather Center; both programs covered the entire tornado event without commercial interruption. While Bettes was reporting with the project crew, TWC on-camera meteorologist Adam Berg substituted for him in the studio.
The final edition of Weather Center with Abrams & Bettes aired 1½ weeks earlier on June 12, 2009, allowing Stephanie Abrams and Mike Bettes to take a week off from studio work prior to assuming their new duties as co-anchors of Your Weather Today starting on June 22, 2009. Alexandra Steele and Jim Cantore replaced them as anchors of the 7 p.m. Eastern hour of Weather Center on June 15, 2009 (although television listing services such as Zap2it stated that the changeover would occur one week later on June 22). Kevin Robinson, a former host of Your Weather Today, was added as an additional co-anchor of the program on June 22, 2009. On the same day, meteorologist Nicole Mitchell became Paul Goodloe's permanent co-host on the 10 p.m. Eastern hour of Weather Center. The 7-10 p.m. ET block at this time was called Weather Center with Cantore and Steele, similar to Your Weather Today's new subtitling as Your Weather Today with Abrams & Bettes.
In December 2009, Kevin Robinson left Weather Center with Cantore and Steele to become a meteorologist at Cincinnati NBC affiliate WLWT, and was replaced by Chris Warren. In late September 2010, Crystal Egger joined Weather Center as a full-time co-anchor. Jim Cantore was reassigned to report on breaking weather news from the channel's newsroom. In September 2010, Weather Center co-host Alexandra Steele left the network, and later became an on-camera meteorologist for CNN in early 2011. Nicole Mitchell left the program in November 2010, and was replaced by Kelly Cass.
On January 31, 2011, TWC unveiled a major shift in its evening programming. It began airing Weather Center in three one-hour blocks each night (respectively from 7 to 8 p.m., 10 to 11 p.m. and 1 to 2 a.m. Eastern) surrounding the channel's long-form programming (a term referring to The Weather Channel's original documentary and reality programs). Weather Center was subsequently expanded to weekends on February 5, 2011. Chris Warren and Crystal Egger hosted the weekday editions; Paul Goodloe and Kelly Cass anchored on weekends.
In May 2011, Weather Center was officially retitled as Weather Center Live. On November 16 of that year, Weather Center Live debuted the "Winter Weather Update" segment, as a replacement for the "Tropical Update" segment usually seen at 50 minutes past each hour from June to November. The segment lasted until March 24, after which the slot is taken over by the "Severe Weather Update" segment, which airs at 50 minutes past the hour until the start of the Atlantic hurricane season on June 1.
An afternoon edition of Weather Center Live began airing at 4 p.m. Eastern starting on March 26, 2012. Six days later on March 31, the weekend edition also expanded to the 4 p.m. slot, effectively canceling the weekend edition of PM Edition. The late afternoon edition of Weather Center Live was shifted to 5-7 p.m. Eastern on November 12, 2012. In July 2013, Todd Santos left the program and The Weather Channel, and was replaced by Keith Carson.
Crystal Egger left the channel on September 6, 2013; Egger returning on September 12 to anchor a two-hour special edition from 1 to 3 a.m. ET due to severe weather, before leaving the network. Chris Warren now has to host WCL without Egger.
On November 12, 2013, as part of The Weather Channel's extensive rebranding (which included a revised graphics package, the introduction of a new set for its forecast programs and the permanent expansion of the Lower Display Line throughout national commercial breaks to provide local weather information), Weather Center Live was expanded to mornings and afternoons, replacing the canceled forecast programs First Forecast, On the Radar and Day Planner on weekdays (respectively from 4 to 5:30 a.m., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Eastern) and Sunrise Weather, Weekend View and Weekend Now on weekends (between 4:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Eastern). As a consequence, the nightly 10-11 p.m. and 1-2 a.m. Eastern, and weekend 4-5 p.m. and 7-8 p.m. Eastern editions of Weather Center Live were replaced with long-form programming (effectively removing regularly scheduled forecast programs from the channel's nighttime schedule for the first time in its history, and also limiting forecast programming on weekends to morning and early afternoon timeslots). The show's duration may be extended, ultimately canceling long-form programs, and/or have its blue logo changed to red during major weather events.
On February 24, 2014, Weather Center Live was expanded again with an additional afternoon broadcast from 2 to 5 p.m. ET (this addition occurred almost a month after The Weather Channel was removed from satellite provider DirecTV due to a carriage dispute, citing complaints over the channel's increased reliance on long-form programs over forecast programming; with the change, the channel's schedule consists solely of forecast programming during the daytime hours and long-form programs at night on weekdays).
When Weather Center Live was expanded, Nick Walker co-anchored the show with Vivian Brown from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET for only three days a week (Monday-Wednesday) instead of the entire work week. Keith Carson co-anchored with Brown on Thursdays and Fridays in the same timeslot. In July, Walker moved to primetime to cover breaking weather news and Carson went on to host the weekend early morning shows and report for Wake Up With Al Monday through Wednesdays. Jennifer Delgado replaced Walker and Carson as Brown's co-host on the show Mondays through Fridays.
In April 2014, Dave Schwartz returned to the Weather Channel for the first time since 2008. He and Alex Wilson would co-anchor Weather Center Live from 3 to 6 p.m. ET weekdays for the next two years.
On Thursday, November 6, 2014, the weekday 4-5:30 a.m. ET edition of Weather Center Live was replaced by long-form programming (from 4 to 5 a.m. ET) and an expanded Wake Up With Al (from 5 to 5:30 a.m. ET). On November 8, the weekend 4-5 a.m. and noon-2 p.m. ET editions of the show were also replaced by long-form programming. As a result of these changes, Weather Center Live aired from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET on weekdays and 5 a.m.-noon ET on weekends.
On Monday, November 17, 2014, Weather Center Live began airing at 10 a.m. ET weekdays, replacing the 10 to 11 a.m. ET re-broadcast of Wake Up with Al.
On January 31, 2015, the weekend 5-9 a.m. ET edition of the program was replaced by a new weekend edition of AMHQ, hosted by Reynolds Wolf and Kait Parker.
On March 14, 2015, the weekend 9 a.m.-noon ET edition was replaced by a new weekend show called Weekend Recharge, hosted by Maria LaRosa and Paul Goodloe. As a result, Weather Center Live became a weekday-only show, airing from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, 
On August 24, the 6-8pm timeslot was replaced by a show called Weather Underground, hosted by Mike Bettes.
For the week of October 5, 2015, Wake Up with Al's timeslot was replaced with Weather Center Live. Now Weather Center Live airs weekdays 9am-6pm ET. But when severe weather happens, this show will air till severe stops. That's why during it, WCL sometimes runs overnight.
On July 30, 2016, Dave Schwartz died after a long battle with cancer. He had continued to appear as co-anchor almost until his death. He was 63.
Notable on-air staff
- Jim Cantore – Storm Specialist
- Greg Forbes – Severe Weather Expert
- Bryan Norcross – Senior Hurricane Expert/Storm Specialist
- Dave Malkoff – Reporter
- Mike Seidel – Reporter
- Stephanie Abrams (currently co-anchors AMHQ)
- Mike Bettes (currently hosts Weather Underground TV)
- Vivian Brown (left TWC)
- Crystal Egger (currently at KNBC-TV; TWC Correspondent)
- Dave Schwartz (deceased)
- Flint, Joe (January 14, 2014). "DirecTV no longer carrying Weather Channel after contract dispute". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 14, 2014.