NOAA WEATHER RADIO
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Please remember that you should NOT rely on this Internet audio to receive watches or warnings. Instead, you should have your own dedicated
NOAA Weather Radio receiver which will alert you 24 hours a day to hazards in your area.
This stream player is provided as a convenience and is not an authoritative source for official watches, warnings or advisories -- those should be obtained directly using your own NOAA Weather Radio receiver.
How does this work?
The NOAA Site explains NOAA Weather Radio this way:
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day.
Working with the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Emergency Alert System , NWR is an "All Hazards" radio network, making it your single source for comprehensive weather and emergency information. In conjunction with Federal, State, and Local Emergency Managers and other public officials, NWR also broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards -- including natural (such as earthquakes or avalanches), environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills), and public safety (such as AMBER alerts or 911 Telephone outages).
Known as the "Voice of NOAA's National Weather Service," NWR is provided as a public
service by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), part of the Department of Commerce.
NWR includes more than 940 transmitters , covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters,
Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories. NWR requires a special radio
receiver or scanner capable of picking up the signal. Broadcasts are found in the VHF public service band at these seven frequencies (MHz):
|162.400 MHz||162.425 MHz||162.450 MHz|
|162.475 MHz||162.500 MHz||162.525 MHz|
Depending on the information you want to access, and how and where you plan to access NOAA NWS
broadcasts, you have many options. There are standalone Weather Radio receivers as well as multi-band/function receivers with the weather band
included. If you are wanting to be alerted to Warnings and Watches day or night, a standalone receiver might work best for you. If you just want
to be able to tune to in the weather broadcast and do not care about receiving alerts, a general multi-band/function receiver could be better.
Standalone Receivers: Standalone receivers might also come with AM/FM bands, but their primary use will be to receive Weather Radio broadcasts. You can choose between handheld and desktop models, depending on whether you plan to take your radio with you when you go out. There are many choices from a number of manufacturers with prices ranging from around $20 to over $1000, depending on the number of features included.
Multi-Band/Function Receivers: These receivers bundle a number of features. Weather Radio is just one of many frequency bands included. You can find the Weather Radio band included in:
* Note that with the pending conversion of television signals to digital on February 17, 2009, the analog TV band of multi-function receivers will no longer work after that date. Look here for more information.
Tone Alarm: The National Weather Service will send a 1050 Hz tone alarm before most warning and many watch messages are broadcast. The tone will activate all the receivers which are equipped to receive it, even if the audio is turned off. This is especially useful for warnings which occur during the night when most people are asleep. (Public Alert ™ - required)
SAME technology: SAME, or Specific Alert Message Encoding allows you to specify the particular area for which you wish to receive alerts. Most warnings and watches broadcast over NOAA Weather Radio are county-based or independent city-based (parish-based in Louisiana), although in a few areas of the country the alerts are issued for portions of counties. Since most NWR transmitters are broadcasting for a number of counties, SAME receivers will respond only to alerts issued for the area (or areas) you have selected. This minimizes the number of “false alarms” for events which might be a few counties away from where you live. (Public Alert ™ - required)
Selectable alerting of events : While SAME allows you to specify a particular area of interest, some receivers allow you to turn off alarms for certain events which might not be important to you. For example, if you live in a coastal county, but not right at the beach, you might not care about Coastal Flood Warnings. This feature may also be called "Event Blocking" or "Defeat Siren". (Public Alert ™ - optional)
Battery backup: Since power outages often occur during storms, having a receiver with battery backup can be crucial. However, unless you have a portable unit which you will use away from other power sources, an AC power connection is recommended to preserve battery life. (Public Alert ™ - required for radios, optional for other devices)
External antenna jack: While most receivers come with a whip antenna which can usually be extended out from the unit, depending on your location you may need an external antenna to get a good reception. Some receivers come with an external antenna jack (normally in the back of the unit) which will allow you to connect to a larger antenna (which can be indoors or outdoors). You can often purchase these as accessories at the same place where you bought your receiver, or from most stores with an electronics department. NWR broadcasts are in the Public Service VHF frequencies, just above FM radio and between the current TV channels 6 and 7 - so an antenna designed for analog VHF televisions or FM radios should work. Or, you can make your own antenna. Go to this web site for more information. (Public Alert ™ - optional)
External device jack (special needs): Some radios have a jack to plug-in external notification devices, such as strobe lights or bed shakers, which can be useful for those with special needs. (Public Alert ™ - required for institutional receivers, optional for consumer receivers).
Voices Used on NOAA Weather Radio
From the introduction of NOAA Weather Radio until the late 1990s, nearly all the voices heard in the broadcasts were those of the staff at local
National Weather Service (NWS) offices. The messages were manually recorded, first on tape cartridges and later digitally, and placed in the
As part of the NWS Modernization during the 1990s, many local offices were closed and their NOAA Weather Radio consoles were moved to the new or enhanced Weather Forecast Offices. This was also the start of a period of rapid expansion of the Weather Radio network. What had been about 400 transmitters in 1990 grew to near 600 by the end of 2000 and is now (at the end of 2006) over 960 transmitters across the 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa.
To cope with the increasing number of transmitters at each office, and to speed the overall delivery of warning messages to the public, the Console Replacement System (CRS) was deployed at NWS Weather Forecast Offices in the late 1990s. CRS introduced a computerized voice nicknamed "Paul" using the DECTalk text-to-speech system. DECTalk grew out of research by the late Dr. Dennis Klatt of MIT. While CRS greatly enhanced the speed of delivery and scheduling of Weather Radio messages, there was some dissatisfaction with Paul's voice.
The National Weather Service embarked on a Voice Improvement Processor (VIP) program in late 2000, and implemented newer text-to-speech voices nationwide in 2002, nicknamed "Donna" and "Craig". A year later, further updates were made. The "Donna" voice was improved, "Craig" was replaced by "Tom", and a Spanish voice "Javier" was added at a few sites.
All of the VIP voices have been produced using the Speechify text-to-speech system. (The official Speechify name for our "Donna" voice is "Mara".) Speechify was originally a product of the Speechworks company, based on technology developed by AT&T. Speechworks was purchased by Scansoft in 2003, and Scansoft merged with Nuance in 2005.
The VIP voices generally have been better received by the public than "Paul" was. There is a better capability to fine-tune the pronunciation of words and phrases along with controls to adjust the volume and rate of speech. These all help to make the voices more understandable when it really counts - in warning situations.