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Press Release

May 10, 2011

The Weather Channel Launches The Great Tornado Hunt

Weather enthusiasts can follow the team of storm chasers using social media, mobile and web engagement tools

The Weather Channel (TWC) presents the third year of "The Great Tornado Hunt," beginning now through June 3, 2011. Meteorologist Mike Bettes and an expert team of storm chasers will embark upon a journey to intercept storms across the United States. The Weather Channel will be there to give viewers a real-time account of this experience on air and online at weather.com. TWC will also introduce Lunchtime Live, a new weather.com series featuring occasional chats with weather experts and on-camera meteorologists, beginning Tuesday, May 10, at noon with tornado expert Dr. Greg Forbes.

After successfully capturing a tornado live last year, Bettes will try for a third time to capture one of nature's most violent storms. In 2009 and 2010, he was embedded with tornado field experiment Vortex 2, which was confined to Tornado Alley. This year, the hunt could take Bettes and the team of storm chasers into the Southeast, the High Plains or any other location where conditions are suited for a tornado. Through it all, the team will be outfitted with the best technology to ensure weather enthusiasts and information junkies can follow The Great Tornado Hunt using a number of features. 

  • Each day, starting at 11:15 a.m. EST, daily live streaming at weather.com will take consumers behind the scenes for the team's briefing meeting, as Bettes strategizes with the chasers. During that time, consumers can engage with the team by asking questions or weighing in with suggestions.
  • "Test Your Tornado I.Q." is an interactive quiz created to help consumers learn more about tornadoes.
  • Consumers can engage by following Mike Bettes and the hunt (@tornadohunt) via Twitter and post comments to The Weather Channel Facebook page. TWC will also provide breaking news alerts via @TWCBreaking, the channel's Twitter home for breaking weather.
  • During the inaugural Lunchtime Live on Tuesday, March 10, at noon EST, consumers can chat with tornado expert Dr. Greg Forbes about last month's tornado outbreak, this year's active season and his outlook for The Great Tornado Hunt.
  • Bettes will be using ooVoo's highest quality mobile video chat, which allows groups of six to chat, cross-platform, using multiple devices. He will be able to communicate mobile-to-mobile and mobile-to-broadcast network from the field.
  • Bettes and the storm chasers will travel in TWC's "Great Tornado Hunt" vehicles, complete with multiple cameras and a new GPS feature that will plot their position on Weather Services International's (WSI) TruVu Max during storms.

For more information on The Great Tornado Hunt, visit www.weather.com

Group and Bain Capital. For more information, visit www.weather.com/press.


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.