NWS Emblem

THE VOICE OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

All National Weather Service offices operate VHF radio broadcasts on a taped cycle toNOAA Weather Radio Logo provide the population with the latest weather observations, forecasts, and warning information 24 hours a day. These broadcasts, called All Hazards NOAA Weather Radio (NWR), can be heard using specially equipped radios. The broadcast can also be heard on some scanners. The signal generally can be heard in a 40-mile radius from the transmitter site, although this can vary greatly depending upon your terrain and surroundings. NWR radios cost as little as $20, and most cost less than $60.

The routine broadcast cycle can be interrupted to broadcast life-threatening warning information, such as a severe thunderstorm, tornado, flash flood, or blizzard warning. Special civil emergency messages which originate from local, state, or federal emergency management agencies may also be broadcast. Most weather radios are designed with an alarm feature to warn of the impending hazard. However, this alarm will sound or LED will flash whenever a warning was issued for anywhere in the listening area. Certain newer radios are equipped with digital decoding technology, called Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME), to sound the alarm only for counties you have chosen. SAME codes are the driving force behind the Emergency Alert System (formerly known as the Emergency Broadcast System). Understandably, these radios cost a bit more, but still aren't excessively expensive.

NOAA Weather Radio Computers

The computer that controls NWR is called the Console Replacement System (CRS). There are several reasons why the radio is controlled by a computer. Most important, a computer can capture products as they are issued, encode the SAME message (if applicable) quickly and automatically, and rebroadcast them in a matter of seconds, saving valuable time. This is especially true during active warning situations. Since we operate five radios (soon to be six), if the warning is encoded, read, and recorded by a human, there could be a significant time lag between warning issuance and broadcast. The full benefit of this system has not yet been realized as a few items are still read by a staff member, but most products are now automated.

An All Hazards NOAA Weather Radio with the Alarm/Alert feature can be a life saver in the event of dangerous weather in your community. Special civil emergency messages which originate from local, state or federal emergency management agencies, may also be broadcast over the system. Hopefully, the day will soon come when NWR will be as commonplace in people's homes as a smoke detector.

 

Backward Arrow EXIT
Forward Arrow