EMWIN

 Emergency Managers Weather Information Network

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1) What is EMWIN?

The Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (EMWIN) is a service of the National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It began operation in Washington DC in 1994, with a mission of providing severe weather information to Emergency Managers. It has grown in use to be a significant tool for Emergency Managers in severe weather events across the United States. Detailed EMWIN network information is available at http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/emwin/index.htm.

 

EMWIN information is available through several sources including satellite, radio broadcast, and the internet. In north central Texas, EMWIN broadcast service is a cooperative effort of the National Weather Service, the Motorola Amateur Radio Club of North Texas, and other supporting organizations. EMWIN broadcast operates 24 hours a day, delivering near real-time information on severe weather in the area including forecasts, weather watches, warnings, and radar updates. Currently four transmitter sites in north central Texas allow EMWIN data to be received by approximately 80% of the population served by the Fort Worth office of the National Weather Service.

2) What information can I receive from EMWIN?

EWMIN broadcast delivers text and graphic information for the DFW area including:

  • Hourly updates on conditions throughout the state
  • Five-day forecasts
  • Local severe weather outlooks
  • National severe weather forecasts
  • Fort Worth radar updates
  • Watches and warnings for:
    • Flash floods
    • Floods
    • Severe thunderstorms
    • Tornados
    • Winter storms
    • High winds

3) I can get weather information from the internet. What�s different about EMWIN broadcast?

EMWIN information is available to the public through several sources including the internet. During severe weather, access to information often becomes slow as servers become overloaded by high demand for this information or disconnected completely due to service failures of cable and telephone DSL service. The DFW EMWIN broadcast system receives its information from two satellite receivers. If one fails, the system automatically switches to the backup. The system also has emergency power capability, allowing it to perform even when commercial power is not available. The information being transmitted has been tailored for storm spotters and local emergency management groups. A key feature of the system is supplying radar graphics to storm spotter vehicles, a service not available through any other source in the metroplex. The service can be used as a primary data source for Emergency Managers, or as a backup in case of failure of other sources.

4) What do I need to receive EMWIN broadcast?

You need a computer running Windows, a scanner or other VHF receiver (160 MHz), a demodulator, and a software package to decode the information. The resources required for EMWIN reception on a computer are very small, so almost any pc will work. An inexpensive radio scanner can be purchased at a local electronics store. If you are more than 10 miles from the transmitter site, you will likely need an external antenna for reliable reception. Demodulators are available from several companies - refer to the EMWIN homepage: http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/emwin/index.htm for further details. Software is also available from multiple sources, ranging from free to less than $100 per copy - depending on the features you need. See the EMWIN homepage for specific sources.

5) Which transmitter will provide the best signal for my use in North Texas?

Four transmitter sites are located throughout the service area of the Fort Worth WFO. All sites transmit data at 1200 bits per second (1200, N, 8, 2). Coverage maps for the various sites are provided to assist in selecting the best transmitter frequency to use based on your location. Click the site names below for estimated coverage information.

 

Fort Worth 100 watts 1200,N,8,2 163.3250 MHz

 

Mesquite 100 watts 1200,N,8,2 168.8125 MHz

 

Denton 100 watts 1200,N,8,2 168.7125 MHz

 

Paris 100 watts 1200,N,8,2 168.7125 MHz

6) Where can I get additional information about EMWIN?

Several good sources of information exist on the internet.

Or send email to EMWIN_FTW@charter.net for comments and questions about the DFW EMWIN rebroadcast system.

7) I receive only about 70% of the EMWIN information correctly. Where can I look to solve the problem?

Your problem could be any of several things. First, Check your receiver's antenna connection. A simple test is to turn up the speaker on your scanner and listen to the audio from the rebroadcast site. If the signal is noisy or scratchy, you probably do not have a strong enough signal. Try another transmitter site near you, or you may need an external antenna.

Site Power Level Data format Frequency


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