Virtual Office Tour

The Console Replacement System (CRS)

One of the chief means of product dissemination in use by the NWS today is the one you are using right now, the Internet. Once you reach our homepage, your are just a few clicks of the mouse away from every one of the products that are issued by this office. Of course, everyone does not have access to the Internet, for example boaters out in the bay or on the coastal waters. In addition, unless your are sitting in front of your computer, you will not get immediate notification of watches and warnings.

Even though it has been around for a while, NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) remains one of the best ways to get NWS watches and warnings instantaneously. The units, like the one pictured below, are mobile and can be set to alert you to severe weather using an alarm. To get more information on the NOAA Weather Radio System click here.

Below, you'll find the heart of our NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) system, the Console Replacement System (CRS) As recent as a few years ago, NWS personnel had to print a hardcopy of the products and then go to a special sound proof room to manually record all of our products onto tapes. This resulted in a delay between the issuance time of products, and the time they were played on NWR. In addition, the tapes often broke. This tape cartridge system was then replaced by digital consoles. This alleviated the tape breaking problem and improved audio quality, but still required a person to "rip and read" all of the products as they were issued. By the turn of the century, the digital consoles were replaced by the appropriately named Console Replacement System (CRS). This system allows us to get the watches and warnings to you as soon as they are issued by our forecasters. The system is made up of these two computers; a primary and a backup system. Each system ingests forecasts and warnings as issued by our forecasters and sends them out via our transmitters to your weather radio!

Next we'll take a look at the computer room...



National Weather Service
Wakefield, Virginia
10009 General Mahone Hwy Wakefield, VA 23888

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