Vox launches weather channel with much-loved meteorologist, Annette Botha

To the backdrop of increasing adverse weather events and a global movement to deal with the climate crisis, Vox has announced it is launching Vox Weather, a state-of-the-art interactive weather channel with a focus on viewer education, to be presented by renowned meteorologist Annette Botha.

Understanding the weather goes beyond knowing whether to pack an umbrella, says Vox CEO Jacques du Toit. “It is vitally important for people, both young and old, to develop a holistic understanding of broader trends and how our actions are affecting the health of our planet,” he says. He says Vox has invested in bringing top-tier credible forecasts back to the public domain, driven by a desire to inspire consciousness and activism around climate change and protecting the planet.

Du Toit says that unfortunately, mainstream weather broadcasts have regressed to static representations which add little value and have left South Africans in a meteorological drought. “Apps can only step into this void partly, but they are unable to provide a thoughtful and methodical overview of the intersection between science and the weather.

“Our research has indicated a pressing need for informative, educational and credible weather analysis and we believe that by providing this to South Africans we can drive broader understanding and acknowledgement of climate change and how it affects every one of us,” he says.

As important as the science and technology used to deliver weather reports, says Du Toit, is having a qualified meteorologist present forecasts. Du Toit says that working with Botha boosts the credibility of what’s being presented with her depth of knowledge, but beyond this, he says that Vox recognises her passion for educating and inspiring positive behaviour to deal with climate change.

Botha, who completed her honours degree in Meteorology in 2014, is a former broadcasting meteorologist and presenter for ENCA. Her strength includes interpreting data to generate contextual forecasts and predictions, underpinned by a deep passion to inform and educate the public.

“If we can inspire young people to take an active interest in our regional weather and the forces shaping these changes, we would have gone a long way towards arresting the damage we are inflicting on our only planet,” he says.

Botha agrees, adding that she’s ecstatic that Vox has found a trusted model for bringing high-quality weather analysis to the public. “I am thrilled to be presenting the weather again, supported by the best quality tools to bring relatable and informative graphics and information to the public,” she says.

Du Toit says that by pioneering the most cost-effective production in the country, and by prioritising the immediacy and reach of social media, Vox intends bringing educational content to as many people as possible, in as relevant a time as possible, on the devices where they want to consume their media. In addition to this, Vox Weather will zone in on relevant topics of interest every month, adding context and depth to the public’s understanding of topics related to the weather and planet.

“There is a wealth of data available, and we wish to bring insights from this data through the expertise of Annette, to bring value to the wider community – from sportspeople to the general public to those with a vested interest in renewable energy, among much more. This is a wonderful opportunity to educate viewers with relevant, quality information,” he says.

In addition to this, Vox will work with partners ahead of and during important sporting events to deliver detailed forecasts and drive awareness of the importance of quality and trustworthy weather data and insights. This will include exciting sports such as golf, outdoor running and cycling stage events and kite surfing, among others. The technical capabilities will allow for overlaying the track or area of the event on Google Earth and then animating the weather expectations over the course of the event. “The team will be able to build highly specific and relevant insights for each event, to help for planning for the athletes and supporters,” says Du Toit.

“Ultimately,” says Du Toit, “We aim to use skilled resources and credible data sources to make weather reporting services credible again so that we can inspire a love and appreciation for our beautiful planet.”

Vox Weather goes live on 1 September and you can find all the information here www.voxweather.co.za