SAME Weather Radios
A new generation of NOAA Weather Radio receivers has arrived at local electronic stores. The SAME models are programmable... allowing listeners to set their receivers' warning alarms for selected, individual counties and types of watches or warnings. This feature effectively screens out alarms that listeners do not wish to receive. Thus, unless desired, you will not receive an alarm for a warning which is a few counties away from where you live. By using the county FIPS codes, your radio dealer will be able to program these new radios for the areas you select.
NOAA Weather Radio has long been a valuable source of up-to-date weather information. Across the U.S. 450 NOAA Weather Radio stations broadcast local forecasts and current weather conditions 24 hours each day...every day of the year...direct from the National Weather Service. During hazardous weather events...frequent short-term updates are provided. Severe storm watches and warnings and flash flood warnings are broadcast live...accompanied by a warning alarm which activates specially equipped receivers.
The new receivers will take advantage of a "Specific Area Message Encoder" (SAME) feature now a part of all NOAA Weather Radio Stations. This feature allows National Weather Service broadcasters to designate at the broadcast console the specific counties affected and the specific type of watch or warning to be broadcast. Receivers equipped with the "SAME" device will be activated according to the county and watch/ warning type programmed by their listeners. ( click here for the SAME coverage data for the state of Texas.)
Older NOAA Weather Radio models will continue to function as usual. Those equipped with the conventional warning alarm feature will continue to activate for any severe storm watches or warnings and for any flash flood warnings issued for any of the designated warning alarm counties within the transmitter's broadcast range.
NOAA Weather Radio's Specific Area Message Encoder (SAME) function is also fully compatible with the new Emergency Alert System (EAS)...the recent upgrade to the old Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) employed by commercial radio and television stations. In cooperation with the FCC...FEMA... local and state officials...and national and state associations of broadcasters...the National Weather Service hopes to be able to reach more viewers and listeners than ever before with critical hazardous weather information. EAS and SAME technology have tremendous potential for delivering timely hazardous weather information through many types of modern communications systems.
SAME Alert Tests are normally conducted each Wednesday between 10 and and Noon (typically around 11 am) and again between 6 pm and 8 pm (typically around 7 pm). Should there be a threat of or existing severe weather, the test will be postponed until the next available good weather day.