This afternoon's surprise announcement that The Weather Channel will return to DirecTV after a nasty public dispute over programming and finances came as a shock to almost everyone who's kept up with the situation over the last couple of months.

The Weather Channel not only caved to the satellite provider — agreeing to halve its reality programming during the week in favor of actual weather information (a huge sticking point for both casual viewers and weather enthusiasts) — but Weather Company CEO David Kenny actually issued an apology for waging a dirty public relations fight against DirecTV.

But when The Weather Channel returns to channel 362 on Wednesday, what will happen to WeatherNation?

Shortly after the news broke this afternoon, The Vane contacted WeatherNation spokesman Marc Lumpkin, who said that the multi-year contract that WeatherNation signed with DirecTV last week will remain intact. WeatherNation will appear alongside The Weather Channel in DirecTV's channel lineup, providing the Atlanta-based weather titan its first real competition in the network's 32-year existence.

In addition to its carriage on DirecTV, WeatherNation announced a deal this morning to carry its programming on digital channel 9.3 of Washington D.C.'s WUSA-TV, continuing its digital channel expansion to almost three dozen local news affiliates across the United States.

[Image via WeatherNation]