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The Weather Channel Presents Week-Long Tornado! Series Heralding the Start of Severe Weather Season.

Business & Entertainment Editors

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 19, 2000

On Sunday, April 30th, The Weather Channel will kick off Tornado!, an unprecedented five-day series featuring live reports and exclusive footage captured during the tornado that generated what some scientists say were "the strongest winds ever recorded on Planet Earth." What made last year's tornadoes - that devastated parts of Oklahoma - so powerful? The Weather Channel's own "Dr. Tornado," nationally recognized severe weather expert Dr. Greg Forbes, offers revealing insights.

Each hour, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., TWC will take viewers inside the weather and behind the scenes with the forecasters and emergency management agencies who try to keep people ahead of the storm. According to Patrick Scott, executive vice president and general manager of The Weather Channel, Tornado! will explore the awesome power of weather and the advances being made in forecasting severe outbreaks. "People are fearful about this type of storm and in this series, we strive to show our viewers the best precautionary measures to take in the event of severe weather, and to alleviate some of the fear of the unknown."

The Series Run-down:

Sunday, April 30th:

In the first installment of Tornado!, The Weather Channel will present "Tornado Myths and Safety Preparations," dispelling myths and providing crucial advice from the experts on keeping safe and sound when tornadoes strike. Outlining a Family Disaster Plan in the event of a tornado and keeping contact information for local authorities are examples of protective measures to take before severe weather hits.

Monday, May 1st:

Tonight's topic explores the "Awesome Power of Tornadoes." More powerful than hurricanes, the force of a tornado can gouge through pavement, destroying homes and businesses within minutes. Exclusive footage from past tornadoes will air, showing the disastrous effects of these storms and their impact on the people and places with which they come into contact.

Tuesday, May 2nd:

Tonight, The Weather Channel experts answer "What is a Tornado?", taking the mystery out of the natural occurrence and learning where, when, why and how tornadoes strike. While by their nature tornadoes are mercurial, viewers can find out if they are confined to the United States alone, how to read the skies for signs of a tornado, and other facts.

Wednesday, May 3rd:

Marking the anniversary of the most powerful tornado ever recorded, one that brought the strongest winds ever recorded on the earth, and leveled hundreds of homes, today's programming will devote the day, from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., to tornado coverage interspersed into its regular schedule. The Weather Channel meteorologists will be live from Oklahoma City, looking back at the devastating tornado outbreak there one year ago today, and they will take the viewer through the day of the outbreak - before the storm, through the meteorological factors that led to severe weather, and then through the aftermath. Segments will also include interviews with locals who witnessed the event; they will look at the people and places who were affected by this event with live cut-ins from in and around Oklahoma City.

The live coverage is in addition to the continuing episodes of Tornado! Viewers will learn "Who works on Tornadoes?" - a behind the scenes look at the science of this phenomenon. Featuring the latest technology used in forecasting tornadoes, the difference between watches and warnings, and insight into how weather experts do their jobs. To commemorate the deadly tornado of May 3, 1999, The Weather Channel's Web site, weather.com, will hold online chats from 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 4th:

The last night of the series will take a look at the people affected by tornadoes. From the state level down to the local community, families and individuals, the impact of a tornado is seen and experienced in many ways physically, emotionally, financially and structurally. Psychological effects of tornadoes will be addressed, offering insight on rebuilding lives and areas that have been hit by these events. Leading up to the week of Tornado! programming, The Weather Channel will feature tornado questions nightly, the answers to which will be revealed on TWC's Web site, weather.com. Five randomly selected grand prize winners will receive exclusive The Weather Channel Columbia jackets, like the ones worn by on-camera meteorologists in the field.

Background:

About Dr. Forbes: Tornado expert Dr. Greg Forbes is preeminent in his field, having studied with Dr. Ted Fujita, creator of the F-scale measuring tornadoes. Dr. Forbes was asked by the Fujita family to take over the research that the late Dr. Fujita began, so that the knowledge will go on.

The Weather Channel Inc., based in Atlanta, is the nation's premier provider of weather information. The only 24-hour international weather network, The Weather Channel is seen in more than 75 million homes nationwide. The Weather Channel is owned by Landmark Communications, Inc., a Norfolk, VA-based, privately held media company, with global interests.

The Weather Channel's Web site, weather.com, is the world's leading source of weather on the Web, and one of the fastest growing sites on the Internet. As the premier all-weather site, weather.com offers comprehensive forecasts and weather-related information for more than 77,000 locations worldwide and features content highlighting the impact of weather on everyday life, including sports, travel and health. weather.com averages more than 130 million page views per month and is consistently ranked the top single-content news site by Media Metrix. Marketing and distribution relationships include America Online and AOL.COM, Netscape, CompuServe, AOL's Digital City, Go2Net, InfoSpace, ZDNet, ESPN.com, and ABCNews.com. weather.com is the leading provider of broadband and wireless weather products accessible through high speed Internet services, phones, pagers, Palm Pilots, and other personal digital assistants. Broadband and wireless alliances include RoadRunner, Sprint PCS, GTE Airfone, Nokia, AT&T Wireless, SkyTel and Palm Computing.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 19, 2000
Words:975
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