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NEW YORK - The Weather Channel is sending meteorologist Mike Bettes out to chase tornadoes next week, less than a year after an Oklahoma storm sent his SUV tumbling. This time he'll be watching from a safer vantage point, though.

Bettes swallowed glass and needed stitches when a tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma, last May 31 caught up with his chaser vehicle. His driver had several broken bones and needed surgery. Despite some initial hesitation, Bettes is participating in The Weather Channel's annual "Tornado Week" starting Monday, the network's biggest scheduled programming event of the year.

He said this time his team will stay a further distance from developing storms and will not chase them in crowded metropolitan areas.

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