The Weather Channel
Deadliest Space Weather A meteor enters Earth’s atmosphere in a scene from this new series on the Weather Channel, which begins Thursday night at 9, Eastern and Pacific times; 8, Central time.
We are forced to ask: Will the Weather Channel now start naming storms on other planets?
We are forced to ask this because of “Deadliest Space Weather,” a series that begins Thursday night. It’s a moderately interesting look at the climate on other planets, but coming at this particular moment it seems like a possible next step in the channel’s campaign to rule the weather universe.
Recently the Weather Channel caused a stir when it announced that beginning this season it would name significant winter storms, similar to the way the World Meteorological Organization names tropical ones. The channel drew criticism for its presumptuousness, though presumably not from Hollywood, since its list of names seems to have been drawn up by someone with movies on the brain: Draco, Nemo, Rocky. The list also hints at intergalactic aspirations. If we have a really, really bad winter, we will eventually get to Storm Saturn.
Anyway, the channel hasn’t yet announced plans to name storms elsewhere in the universe, but “Deadliest Space Weather” makes clear that there are plenty of opportunities to do so.
“Ours is just one kind of weather,” a narrator with a bad case of overwrought-itis intones in the opening episode. “On other planets there are storms beyond the imagination.”
The premiere looks at weather on Venus, a planet almost the same size as Earth but perhaps more demanding of air-conditioning. The temperature there, we’re told, can reach 900 degrees. Earth umbrellas would not be particularly useful against the sulphuric-acid rain. And because the atmosphere is so thick, “a 5- to 10-mile-an-hour wind would probably knock you over,” one expert says.
So pity those weather reporters who like to stand in the surf, microphone in hand, while a hurricane comes through, because the program says that millions of years hence, no matter how much we improve the gas mileage of our cars, Venus’s weather could become Earth’s weather, since the Sun apparently plans to heat up considerably. This is still eons in the future, though; for now we should probably just concentrate on making it through Storms Xerxes, Yogi and Zeus.
Deadliest Space Weather
The Weather Channel, Thursday nights at 9, Eastern and Pacific times; 8, Central time.
Produced by Flight 33.
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