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Press Release

January 3, 2008

New HD Series Uncovers When Weather Changed History

The Weather Channel Series to Debut January 6 with Online Quiz and Sweepstakes

Was the weather just too cold on the morning of the space shuttle Challenger's launch to support a successful mission?  Did a dust storm actually devastate a military operation and ultimately help shape a presidency?  Debuting this weekend on The Weather Channel (TWC), a new high-definition series, along with an online quiz and sweepstakes, examines the power of nature and its incredible impact on modern history. 

When Weather Changed History, a series of one-hour suspenseful dramas, offers the often-surprising effects of weather on well known history events.  TWC uncovers key moments with insider personal stories that disclose unexpected facts about history, revealing both mankind's heroism and hubris.  The dramatic documentary series starts Sunday, January 6, 2008, with an episode on the space shuttle Challenger.  The series will air every Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET and 11 p.m. ET.  History often repeats itself, so for the first time, the network will broadcast encore episodes of the premiere episode throughout launch week. 

"We're giving viewers a fun and interactive experience where they can learn about all the extraordinary ways that weather has shaped our world," said Lynn Brindell, SVP of marketing at The Weather Channel. "And with Jim Cantore hosting the quiz, it will be both challenging and entertaining."

In conjunction with the new series, The Weather Channel will launch a new When Weather Changed History Web site that includes The Weather History Quiz and special online content.  Viewers can test their knowledge of well-known history events with the online quiz, given by on-camera meteorologist and storm tracker for The Weather Channel, Jim Cantore, at www.weather.com.  The quiz taker earns points in a round of multiple-choice questions with several video clues and a final lightning round of matching and moving words.  Quiz takers will receive a weather cer­tificate to keep or send to a friend to challenge them to beat their score.

Additionally, viewers can enter the When Weather Changed History Sweepstakes at www.weather.com.  The prizes all relate to the historical role of weather, including a grand prize luxury trip for four to the winner's choice of one of three destinations, with historical tours included.  Location options are Paris and London, Tokyo and Hiroshima, or Honolulu and Maui.  Other prizes include weather equipment and a digital camcorder to record how weather has changed your life (which may air online) and a collection of weather history books. All sweepstakes entries must be received by February 1, 2008, at noon ET.

Most people realize weather's impact on their personal history, but the effect of weather on historic events may not be as well known.  According to a recent Facebook poll commissioned by The Weather Channel, 67 percent of people believe weather has had an effect on their lives, either positive of negative.  "Weather has a dramatic impact on our personal lives and ultimately plays a key role in shaping history," said Janet Johnson, VP of long-form program planning and production at TWC.  "This is a launch event like no other for The Weather Channel, and we wanted to give our loyal viewers, as well as those new to the channel, multiple opportunities to see this incredibly dramatic and surprising first episode."

Each episode explores influential and exciting moments in history when the forces of weather intertwine with the forces of human nature to change the course of history.  These weather-influenced experiences come from the fields of politics, exploration, the military, sports, entertainment and much more.  The focus of the series is the epic struggle of man against the power of nature - and the dangers of underestimating that power.

"Each program engages viewers through strong drama, action video and stories of personal risk and heroism," said Johnson.  "This series delivers compelling content with all these qualities while including both the scientific facts and emotions involved with these events."

When Weather Changed History joins existing programs on TWC, Epic Conditions and Weatherventures, as another program shot in native high definition that will be simulcast in HD and SD.  When Weather Changed History episodes feature a daring South Pole rescue to secure medical treatment for the sole physician of an isolated research station, the Battle of the Bulge, the space shuttle Challenger, the race to Nome that inspired the modern-day Iditarod and the Mississippi flood of 1927.  Other series focuses include the evacuation at Dunkirk during World War II, the capsized coal ship that sparked the creation of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Air Florida crash in the Potomac and the Delta 191 crash that changed commercial aviation and windshear detection, and Operation Eagle Claw in response to the Iran-Contra hostage crisis.  Future planned episodes include the super tornado outbreak of 1974 and the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression.


About The Weather Channel Companies
The Weather Channel companies (TWCC) are made up of The Weather Channel® television network, The Weather Channel digital properties, and WSI. The Weather Channel is based in Atlanta and is seen in more than 100 million U.S. households. TWCC also operates Weatherscan®, a 24-hour all-local weather network; The Weather Channel Radio Network; and The Weather Channel HD. The most popular source of weather news and information, TWCC properties reach 60 million monthly Web consumers (weather.com and Desktop) and 32 million monthly mobile users (mobile Web and applications) and offers the second most popular mobile app on all smartphones. WSI, headquartered in Andover, MA, primarily provides business-to-business weather services, particularly for the media, aviation, marine and energy sectors. TWCC is owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. For more information, visit www.weather.com/press.