May 10, 2010 10:32 AM by Ethan Beute

Respect for You, Respect for the Storm

Impressive.  Powerful.  Violent.  Damaging.  Here on the Front Range and across the plains, our severe weather demands respect.

News First 5 is uniquely prepared for severe weather at all times.

Because we respect you and we respect our powerful storms, News First 5 assembled the most experienced weather team and constructed our own live Doppler radar two years ago.



Respect for you and for our severe weather means:

  • Building the strongest team of meteorologists
  • Teaming up meteorologists to work together for better forecasting and storm tracking
  • Investing financially in the single most powerful storm tracking tool available, First Alert Doppler
  • A responsible, no-nonsense approach to severe weather - no hype, no gimmicks, just good judgment, deep experience, level heads, calm demeanor and up-to-the-second information


EXPERIENCE: Afternoons and Evenings

Mike Daniels was born and raised here in Southern Colorado; he's lived here all his life.  He's seen every storm that's ever rolled through our area.  He's been on KOAA-TV for more than 20 years.

Mike Madson is a professor who teaches sciences to college students.  His day job for the past 30 years, though, has been meteorology.  He's been here in Southern Colorado for more than 20 of those years.

Professionally, Mike and Mike have been tracking and forecasting our spring and summer storms for nearly 50 years combined.  This experience is simply unmatched.  These are the guys who've "seen it all," so they're best qualified to understand what's going on right now and to anticipate what's going to happen next.

These two weather minds work together to understand current conditions and track even the smallest changes.  With Mike and Mike, it's kind of like seeing your smart, experienced doctor about an important situation - and getting a second opinion from another smart, experienced doctor at the same time

Then, they use News First 5, News First Now and to tell you all about it in a straightforward, no-nonsense way.

No hype, nothing overblown, no scare tactics - you'll just get the facts, along with the judgment and intuition Mike and Mike have developed through decades of study of our specific weather patterns and storms right here in Southern Colorado.


The work of Mike and Mike every afternoon is set-up by the work of Craig Eliot and Brad Sowder all morning and into the afternoon; the First Alert weather team is continuously developing the weather picture for you. 

How is our day going to shape up?  When is the next storm going to roll through?  On the job well before dawn each day, Craig has been tracking our wake-up weather here in Southern Colorado for more than 12 years.  No one has covered it longer; no one understands it better.

Working alongside Craig several mornings each week is Brad Sowder, whose services News First 5 was privileged to pick up on behalf of everyone here; he's a great addition to our community.  Before coming here, Brad worked in Grand Junction for four years, where he was named Chief Meteorologist after just a year on staff.  In 2008, Brad beat out every other meteorologist on all the Western Slope and Southern Colorado TV stations to be named Best Weathercaster by the Colorado Broadcasters Association.  Mike Daniels earned the title for 2009.

With Craig and Brad teaming up in the mornings and Mike and Mike paired together in the afternoons and evenings, no team is stronger.



Though other stations have tried to obscure the fact by showing sweeping radar beams and even by calling their radars "live," News First 5 is the first station to see and show you storms live, exactly where they are right now, in real time. 

This is the result of a serious financial commitment to build our own Doppler radar, which gives us truly live information and complete control over how the radar is reading the skies.  With First Alert Doppler, we have our own continuous stream of live information pouring into a powerful, feature-rich computer system. 

Quite simply, it's the Doppler radar that always provides the First Alert of approaching and developing storms.

Most of the other TV stations still rely upon government radars that are not specifically designed to track storms live.  These radars provide information that's always 5, 10, even 20 minutes old.  We're not sure why, but they still call it "live" when they show you these radars. 

KKTV is the only other station with their own radar; they've been working to get an older, used radar up and running in a geographically depressed portion of El Paso County.  In contrast, however, First Alert Doppler is the latest technology available and was constructed on a mesa overlooking all of Southern Colorado.



At News First 5, we respect you and we respect the power of our severe weather.

When the skies go dark down the Front Range and across the plains, as they do many afternoons throughout the Spring and Summer, know that our weather team working together to keep you informed and prepared.  They use a truly live Doppler radar, plus judgment and intuition built through decades of local experience, to tell you exactly what's going on out there.

You can't get this level of service and quality of information anywhere else; we're uniquely prepared for severe weather at all times.



These are links to a video we made in August 2008 about First Alert Doppler.  Each part runs about 2 minutes.



See live First Alert Doppler

Use the interactive version of First Alert Doppler

Look at weather cams

Look at traffic cams


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