Weather Channel May Air Katrina Show

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The Weather Channel may still air a show completed last year that predicted a hurricane leveling New Orleans, if it can find the right context for it.

The series It Could Happen Tomorrow, which showcases scientific predictions of natural disasters, debuts Jan. 15. The first show looks at what would happen if a massive hurricane hit New York City. But the original pilot, completed last April, was a “what if” scenario for New Orleans.

While a network press release called it a “lost episode” that will never be aired, Terry Connelly, Weather Channel senior VP and general manager, said Wednesday the network would not rule out using the episode as part of a wider-ranging look at the aftermath of Katrina.

“There may be a way of airing it with a lot of discussion around it,” he said.

Subsequent episodes following the premiere about New York will look at possible natural disasters ranging from the eruption of Mount Ranier to an earthquake ravaging San Francisco (pegged to the 100-year anniversary of the April 18, 1906 quake).

Despite the fact the New Orleans episode was an eerie precursor of the real thing, Connelly said the network will not soften the dramatic tone of the series. He says one of the goals of the show is to stir discussion of preparation and safety: “You have to pound on the pulpit.”