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Bay Area Gets Weatherscan Carriage

Many Bay Area residents can soon have a better sense of fog conditions engulfing the Golden Gate Bridge or how windy it might be at Candlestick Park for the next 49ers game when Comcast Corp. launches Weatherscan.

The nation's largest MSO is scheduled to launch the 24-hour, all-local service from The Weather Channel on Nov. 26. The service will be available to some 1 million digital subscribers in upgraded areas in San Francisco, San Mateo, Palo Alto, Foster City, Millbrae and Daly City.

Elsewhere, Comcast — which recently launched Weatherscan in Salt Lake City — will roll out the service in Stockton and Fresno, Calif. later this month and then push into Macon, Ga., and Richmond, Va. on Dec. 15 and Dec. 17, respectively.

With the flurry of launch activities, Weather Channel officials said the spin-off service — which also has distribution deals with Comcast in a number of other markets, including Philadelphia and Chicago; with Cox Communications in San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas; and with Charter Communications Inc. in St. Louis (analog) — will count more than 7 million subscribers by year-end.

Launched in 2001, Weatherscan uses radar and other patented technologies to home in on conditions in local markets. Basic weather facts are always on display, with the current temperature and condition rotated in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

Verbal cues provide an alert when a local forecast is about to appear on the full screen, with maps pinpointing specific areas.