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Press Release

July 23, 2015

The Weather Channel to Air Future Focused Special: Katrina 2065

New Program provides insights on how climate change will affect three major cities on the Gulf

ATLANTA – July 23, 2015 – To mark the 10 year anniversary of one of America’s worst natural disasters, The Weather Channel presents “Katrina 2065,” airing Thursday, August 27 from 8-9 p.m. ET.

With the changing climate reshaping the world’s weather, “Katrina 2065” host Sam Champion, alongside Jim Cantore, will take viewers on a scientific journey through likely scenarios that could take place if Hurricane Katrina hit 50 years from now.

“It’s an important anniversary to reflect on,” said Sam Champion, host of “AMHQ” and managing editor at The Weather Channel. “There are a lot of things we can learn from looking back, but there is twice as much to learn looking forward. This special accomplishes that by showing viewers the problems and solutions, and what we can do now to make sure we’re better equipped to handle a storm like Katrina in the future.”

Utilizing cutting-edge weather animations, expert analysis from the network’s world-class meteorologists and interviews with some of the nation’s leading experts on climate, engineering and disaster response,  “Katrina 2065” addresses the question much of the gulf coast still asks itself  - could we endure this again?

“Everyone who experienced Katrina will never forget its historic storm surge and devastation,” said Jim Cantore, on-camera meteorologist and storm tracker for The Weather Channel. “If sea level continues to rise along the Gulf Coast, storm surge from a Katrina like event in 2065 could start possibly 3 feet higher than it did in 2005. Infrastructure was already ill prepared for Katrina. We must build for natural disaster potential for both present day and what might be 50 years from now.”

Imagine – sea level rise is eroding the Gulf Coast, and a Category 3 hurricane is on the way. In New Orleans, which could nearly an oceanfront city, water overtops rebuilt levees. This, combined with extreme rainfall, warmer oceans and sinking lands, could create even worse impacts in the Crescent City than in 2005. And the levee system which relies on regular maintenance and lifting to meet future storms was only built to 2011 sea levels.

Powered with data from Climate Central scientists, the special uses current climate trends to illustrate how the severe impacts of global warming will affect New Orleans, Miami and Biloxi, MS. The climate of the Earth is indeed warming, with an increase of approximately 1 - 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century, more than half of that occurring since the 1970s. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information, June 2015 was the hottest June on record for the planet. These startling statistics speak for themselves.

“Katrina caused devastation that many of us had never seen before in the U.S.,” said Nora Zimmett, senior vice president, live programming for The Weather Channel. “It’s harrowing to look ahead and see what a similar storm could do 50 years from now given relative sea level rise and aging infrastructure. ‘Katrina 2065’ is not only a futuristic cautionary tale, but an urgent call to action that low-lying, hurricane cities need prepare for the potentially disastrous effects of climate change.”

“Katrina 2065” is the latest commitment by The Weather Channel to explore important topics at the nexus of weather and climate news.

Twitter@weatherchannel, @samchampion, @jimcantore, #Katrina2065

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The Weather Channel Network: It’s Amazing Out There

For more than 30 years, The Weather Channel has inspired viewers to explore, investigate and appreciate the experience of weather in all its forms. Every weekday morning, it features the three biggest names in weather - Al Roker, Sam Champion and Jim Cantore on “Wake Up with Al” and “AMHQ.” Available in over 90 million homes, the network is the leader in severe weather coverage, providing the most comprehensive coverage of any media outlet, and with more than 200 meteorologists who analyze, forecast and report the weather - its expertise is unrivaled. The Weather Channel looks to showcase weather in all forms -- whether beautiful, challenging, terrifying or awe inspiring. After all, when you see the world through weather, It’s Amazing Out There. For more information, visit www.theweathercompany.com.