About NOAA Weather Radio

The 'Voice of the National Weather Service'; NOAA Weather Radio provides continuous radio broadcasts of the latest weather information direct from the NWS. Weather messages are repeated about every five minutes and are updated every one to three hours. Regular broadcasts include the current temperature, the latest weather forecast, up to date climatological information, and bulletins on river and lake conditions.

Forecasters interrupt routine scheduling when severe weather threatens: Special watch or warning messages replace the regular broadcast so listeners can keep abreast of rapidly changing or fast-moving weather conditions.

NOAA Weather Radio includes signals which trigger alert features on specially equipped receivers when warnings are posted on dangerous storms. In some cases, the receiver is automatically turned on, in others the receiver sounds a loud tone to alert listeners to the special weather bulletin being aired.

A more sophisticated alerting system is now available. Called SAME (for Specific Area Message Encoder), this system uses digital technology to allow listeners to select the specific weather threat and specific area for which they want to be alerted. Additionally, SAME broadcasts include a short text message that can be captured by specially equipped radios and cable television receivers to identify the location and kind of weather emergency. SAME is at the heart of the new Emergency Alert System in the Mid South. For a more detailed explanation about SAME, read below. We also have the SAME codes that you will need to encode your radio once you have purchased one.

The special radio receivers needed for NOAA Weather Radio are available at many electronics and specialty stores. Prices range from around $15 to around $80 for more heavily equipped receivers. Many radio scanners, marine and citizens band receivers capture broadcasts from NWR, as well.


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