On April 16, The Weather Channel revealed its plans to cover tornado season 2014. Sam Champion, who recently moved from a prime ABC position on "Good Morning America," and Mike Bettes, a seasoned Weather Channel meteorologist, have both been tapped to help the network (now back on DirecTV after a three-month absence) during “Tornado Week.” The network's highly anticipated and popular tornado focus is slated to run on TWC from April 28-May 4.
As posted by KFDX, The National Weather Service is making an effort to issue fewer tornado warnings in 2014 so that the public takes more notice when they are made public. USA Today noted on Wednesday that prime tornado season runs from March-May every year.
When a deadly rain-wrapped tornado hit El Reno, a city west of Oklahoma City, The Weather Channel was right in the thick of the action with Mike Bettes reporting live. The monster tornado tracked across Oklahoma on May 31 in 2013 and The Weather Channel’s vehicle took a direct hit and was thrown 200 yards.
Luckily, Bettes survived, but Tim Samaras from “Storm Chasers” tragically lost his life when the multiple vortex storm raged out of control and split into numerous tornadoes with no notice. Tornado chaser Reed Timmer stated in an exclusive Examiner.com interview (see below), “It looked like a massive octopus.”
During Tornado Week 2014 on The Weather Channel, Mike Bettes will recount his near death experience for the first time. In addition, he and his crew will search for twisters during The Weather Channel’s Tornado Track 2014, with live reports during Tornado Week.
For “AMHQ,” Sam Champion will head to Moore, Ok., the site of another devastating tornado that struck in May of last year, as part of TWC’s “Out There Road Tour” that will air on May 1-2. Plus, The Weather Channel will visit Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Ok. to check in progress being made on the new school.
In addition to compelling reporting from Mike Bettes and Sam Champion, The Weather Channel will also air a brand new tornado-themed series, plus specials and marathons during Tornado Week. “Tornado Week helps us remind people about the importance of safety and preparedness at this crucial time of the year," explains David Clark, president of The Weather Channel network. "We show countless examples of Mother Nature’s sheer power and brute force."
“Tornado Alley” is a brand new series that premieres on April 28 to kick off Tornado Week on The Weather Channel. It will explore deadly tornadoes from every angle, through the eyes of experts and survivors. Using cutting-edge CGI, the show will destroy cities, tell white-knuckle survival stories, and show in user-generated content just how devastating tornadoes can be. It premieres at 9 p.m. EST on Monday, April 28, 2014.
In addition to its new series, The Weather Channel will also air during prime time during Tornado Week 2014: “Tornado Road,” “Raging Nature,” “Twist of Fate,” “Building Invincible,” “Storm Risers,” and “Storm Stories.”
Tornado Week specials in 2014 include “Dangerous Day Ahead" (which recounts the El Reno tornado), ”The Truth About Twisters,” “Tornado 360,” and “Top Ten Worst Tornadoes.”