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Great Weather Catastrophes

Posted on

Great Weather Catastrophes

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a B+

Catastrophic weather is harrowing to live through, but there is no denying it’s also riveting to watch on TV — life out of control, viewed from cozy comfort. As images of raging Midwest floods continue to fill the nightly news, The Weather Channel cannily offers Great Weather Catastrophes, a civic-minded documentary about natural destruction with this message: Build your house wisely, and don’t go out in a life-threatening snowstorm. Blizzards are covered (the Northeast killer of 1888, as well as last March’s ”Superstorm” on the East Coast), floods are noted (in Johnstown, Pa., in 1889, 1936, and 1977), and there’s good use of stills and historical footage in a segment on Florida’s brutal Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 (the most intense hurricane ever to hit the U.S.). Ripply, moody piano background music undulates throughout, perhaps meant to create a mood of poignant reverence for the power of nature. But the overriding response triggered is downright fascination, along with gratitude that we’re safe at home. B+