Executives at CNN warned today that severe weather alerts have been on the rise during February sweeps and are expected to reach an all-time high before the all-important ratings-grabbing period is over.

At a CNN press briefing at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., network spokesman Tracy Klujian said that severe weather alerts during this sweeps period were up 9,000 percent over normal, non-sweeps months, adding that the alerts could interrupt CNN programming “at any time, without warning” until February sweeps ends.

“We owe it to our viewers to warn them that as bad as the severe weather alerts have been so far this February, even more disruptive alerts are on their way,” Mr. Klujian said.

According to professor Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Meteorology, the sharp increase in severe weather alerts may be the result of a phenomenon called “network executive climate change.”

“Cable news networks such as CNN have been experiencing a gradual cooling of their ratings,” Logsdon said. “Then February sweeps comes along, creating a front of high pressure on their executives.”

In Atlanta, CNN’s Klujian said that there was a “90 percent chance” that Anderson Cooper would be pelted with rain at some point during the February sweeps month.

“Before sweeps is over, Anderson Cooper’s hair will be soaked up and down the Eastern seaboard,” he said. “We want our viewers to be prepared for that.”

Elsewhere, NASA said that it was taking several steps to prevent future cross-country stalking incidents, such as locking up the space diapers.

Copyright 2007 Creators Syndicate

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