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The Weather takes you on a trip around the world with death-defying presenter Donal MacIntyre. While he takes on the worst the weather can throw at him, stunning computer graphics and rare archive footage reveal the strange and often unbelievable forces that surround us.
WIND What can wind do at it's worst? Presenter Donal MacIntyre exposes himself to 100 mile-per-hour gales in a laboratory wind tunnel to understand the devestating force that powered Hurricane Andrew and created an unprecedented cluster of tornados in the midwest. Meanwhile, two balloonists entrust their lives to the fickle forces of the jet stream, and we learn how the earth-circling winds were put to deadly use by the Japanese during World War II.
WET Ride with the rain from the wettest place in Europe to the wettest place in the world, with a stop under the parched Texan skies, where farmers hope to harness the power of nature to create rain. From the first drop of a monsoon to the floods that kill millions each year, water brings life and death in equal measure.
COLD Spectacular avalanches and ice storms are only a few of the bizarre phenomena that come with winter. But what about pure cold? After half an hour in his underwear at minus 18 degrees, Donal has to be rescued or die, as his body begins to shut down. So how do the Inuit in Greenland, and the Danish sledge patrol survive at 40 below?
HEAT The sun's energy can kill--in our own cities as well as in the hot deserts of the equator. Donal endures wet heat in the jungles of Belize, and dries out in the Sahara where it is so hot that water in the atmosphere cannot condense into rain. But the gravest danger may be the warming Earth, with its rising sea levels, angry skies, deadly droughts, and devastating storms.
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The Weather is a major BBC documentary exploring the extremes of the world's climate with the engaging presenter Donal MacIntyre. The four one-hour programs focus on wind, wet, cold, and heat, and explore how these produce hurricanes, monsoons, ice storms, and tornadoes, as well as regulate the global environment. MacIntyre, best known for his British investigative series MacIntyre Undercover (1999), travels the world, from beneath the North Pole to the saturated humidity of the Belize tropical rainforest. Bringing to mind previous daredevil hosts, MacIntyre skydives, is battered by a wild tunnel, is frozen in an ice-box, is subjected to a reservoir flood, and endures a marathon across the Sahara. Survivors' accounts tell the stories of such disasters as Hurricane Andrew, a New York state snow storm and the flood of Britain's eastern coast in 1953. The intelligent use of computer graphics enhances clear explanations of the jet stream, ocean currents, and other phenomena, in a series that is part geography lesson (but with a great teacher), part reality TV entertainment show. Occasional flash-cut editing and some inappropriate techno/drum & bass on the soundtrack will irritate viewers who remember life before MTV, but otherwise this is an excellent mainstream documentary series. --Gary S. Dalkin
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