Under a January 1975 White House policy statement, NOAA Weather Radio became the only Government-operated radio system with the purpose of providing direct weather warnings into private homes. Besides weather warnings, Weather Radio provided information about natural disaster along with warning the public in the event of a nuclear attack!
One of the main reasons people do not know about Weather Radio is because it not broadcast on standard radio frequencies like FM and AM bands. Weather Radio is broadcast on frequencies similar to television stations. There are six main frequencies, including: 162.400, 162.450, 162.475, 162.500, 162.525 and 162.550 Megahertz. In order to hear the broadcast, it is necessary to have a specialized receiver. Fortunately, a number of companies make these receivers.
Weather Radio broadcasts are originated at various National Weather Service offices nationwide. Each transmitter has a normal range of 35 to 40 miles, but with high quality receiver and antennas, the signal can be picked up at greater distances. One of the goals of the National Weather Service is to expand the Weather Radio network to include nearly every location in the United States.
Weather Radio provides more than severe weather warnings, it provides tailored area forecasts, hourly weather reports, summaries of the past weather, and much more! The advantage is that the information you hear on Weather Radio is routinely updated. During adverse weather, along with forecasts and warnings, safety information is broadcast. You may be reminded to bring winter safety kit along with you while traveling during the winter months. If a tornado warning has been issued, you may be told what the safest locations are to protect yourself.
When it becomes necessary to issue a severe weather or tornado warning, the National Weather Service can activate an alarm tone. This tone activates specially equipped Weather Radio to alert you that very important information will follow. The advantage is that you do not have to continuously monitor your radio, because it will put out an audible alert. Since most Weather Radios are portable, you can take them on vacations or other trips. If you are camping, you can hear the latest forecast and information on potentially severe weather.
Weather Radio Specific Area Message Encoders (WRSAME) are NOW being used operationally at the Little Rock Office of the National Weather Service!
Weather Radio Specific Area Message Encoders (WRSAME) allow the National Weather Service at Little Rock to encode watch, warning, special, and severe weather statements with information that can be decoded for county by county alerts. Just program special codes (shown near the top of the page) into WRSAME for your county and surrounding counties, and you will be alerted when severe weather approaches. WR-SAME offers you immediate notification of warnings for tornadoes, flash floods, severe thunderstorms, and other hazardous weather events. Look for the new radios in an electronics store near you!
Console Replacement System (CRS) is Here!
CRS is weather radio with computer generated voices. When National Weather Service products are sent to CRS, the system reads the products to listeners automatically. With CRS, forecast and warning information reaches listeners immediately...the main benefit of the system. Admittedly, the voices of CRS will sound a little different from the human voices heard in the past on NOAA Weather Radio. It may take some time getting used to...but the National Weather Service has improved the quality of the voices over time.
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