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December 13, 2011

The Weather Channel To Premiere Two Year-End Specials And Air One Special Looking Back At 2011’s Extraordinary Year In Weather

"Year of the Tornado" Premieres Monday, Dec. 26

"2011: Weather by the Billions" Premieres Tuesday, Dec. 27

"Irene's Fury" Airs Thursday, Dec. 29

The Weather Channel will premiere two new one-hour specials and will reprise one special that look back at 2011's extreme weather and explore how and why this year's natural disasters were some of the deadliest and costliest in recorded history. "Year of the Tornado" premieres Monday, Dec. 26; "2011: Weather by the Billions" premieres Tuesday, Dec. 27; and "Irene's Fury" airs Thursday, Dec. 29. Each special will air at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT and repeats at 11 p.m. ET/10 p.m. CT.


"Year of the Tornado" looks back at the incredible 2011 tornado season that left a trail of death and destruction, with more than 552 direct deaths (tied with 1936 for second-most on record in a year in the USA and trailing only 1925), and upwards of $27 billion in damage. From the Great Plains to the Eastern Seaboard, the tornadoes of 2011 devastated everything in their paths, with many states paying huge tolls, such as Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. This one-hour special, produced by Peacock Productions, will explain what circumstances made this year in severe weather one of the deadliest in history, and why these tornadoes were so much more destructive than in years past. It will also explore what, if anything, we can do differently to reduce the scope of these disasters in the future.

"Year of the Tornado" will feature The Weather Channel team of meteorologists including severe weather expert Dr. Greg Forbes; Mike Bettes, the first reporter on the scene of the Joplin, MO, tornado; and TWC's 25-year veteran Jim Cantore, as well as other TWC meteorologists and their reports from the field. Meteorologists Juston Drake and Simon Brewer, stars of TWC's Storm Riders, will also be featured in the special.


Did the U.S. have its worst year of weather ever? If you go by the number of billion-dollar disasters, the answer is yes. Jim Cantore hosts this one-hour, year-end special, which features interviews with The Weather Channel meteorologists who covered these events, survivors, and others who displayed enduring examples of the human spirit.


The Weather Channel and its team of severe weather experts take viewers along Hurricane Irene's path as it moves up the Eastern Seaboard, leading to at least 46 fatalities and leaving massive flooding, destruction, power outages and mass transit interruptions in its wake. The special also explores whether this severe weather event can help scientists and urban planners better prepare for future hurricanes. "Irene's Fury" was produced by Peacock Productions. 


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.