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Mount Mansfield NOAA Weather Radio Damaged

In the beginning of March 2008, the North Country experienced 2 ice storms which brought significant icing at the surface, and across the higher elevations of the Green Mountains and Northern Adirondacks. During these storms, the transmitter tower atop Mount Mansfield accumulated several inches of ice and rime that subsequently caused major damage to the NOAA Weather Radio antenna which operates at 162.400 mhz. Since then, many radios have only receieved a weak signal or no signal at all.

In the middle of March, a temporary antenna was placed on the roof of the transmitter tower building, but at a low elevation due to hazardous climbing conditions created by the ice accumulation. The location of the temporary antenna provided increased signal power for listeners west of Mount Mansfield, but not for those on the east side of the mountain due to blockage by the summit. On Friday April 11th, National Weather Service technicians moved the temporary antenna to a slightly higher location -- about 15' or so above the roof of the transmitter tower building. This slightly higher location has improved reception somewhat, especially west of the mountains, but listeners on the east side are still not getting any reception since there is still blockage from the summit to the east. Technicians also determined that the original antenna (located 150' up on the tower) or attached cabling was severely damaged from the ice, meaning it can no longer broadcast a usable signal.

In the coming weeks, our technicians plan to return to the summit to mount a new antenna up on the actual tower, about 50' up. The 50' height will be enough to get the signal over the summit, so locations to the east should see their broadcast reception restored.

Until the technical issues are resolved, the signal may still be degraded or lost. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at (802) 862-2475.


Here are some pictures taken by our technicians taken on March 11th, 2008 of the ice accumulation on the tower and antennas. The pictures are pretty self explanitory of why the signal has been degraded and lost the past month.

Transmitter tower from afar


Ice accumulation on the NOAA Weather Radio antenna


A closeup view of the ice accumulation on the NOAA Weather Radio antenna


National Weather Service
Burlington
1200 Airport Drive
S. Burlington VT 05403
(802)862-2475

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Page last modified: April 15, 2007
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