NOAA Weather Radio NWR; also known as NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards is an automated 24-hour network of VHF FM weather radio stations in the United States (U.S.) that broadcast weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service office. The routine programming cycle includes local or regional weather forecasts, synopsis, climate summaries or zone/lake/coastal waters forecasts (when applicable). During severe conditions the cycle is shortened into: hazardous weather outlooks, short-term forecasts, special weather statements or tropical weather summaries (the first two aren't normally broadcast in most offices). It occasionally broadcasts other non-weather related events such as national security statements, natural disaster information, environmental and public safety statements (such as an AMBER Alert), civil emergencies, fires, evacuation orders, and other hazards sourced from the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Emergency Alert System. NOAA Weather Radio uses automated broadcast technology (since 2016: Broadcast Message Handler) that allows (and frees NWS staff as well) for the recycling of segments featured in one broadcast cycle seamlessly into another and more regular updating of segments to each of the transmitters. It also speeds up the warning transmitting process.
By nature and by design, NOAA Weather Radio coverage is limited to an area within 40 miles of the transmitter. The quality of what is heard is dictated by the distance from the transmitter, local terrain, and the quality and location of the receiver. In general, those using a high quality receiver on flat terrain or at sea can expect reliable reception far beyond 40 miles. Those with standard receivers, surrounded by large buildings in cities and those in mountain valleys may experience little or no reception at considerably less than 40 miles. If possible, a receiver should be tested in the location where it will be used prior to purchase.
NOAA Weather Radio is directly available to approximately 70 to 80 percent of the U.S. population. The National Weather Service is currently engaged in a program to increase coverage to 95 percent of the population.
If you have a question about the weather information broadcast over NOAA Weather Radio, please contact the local National Weather Service office responsible for programming the station, or the National Weather Service, Office of Meteorology, Customer Service (Attention: W/OMII), 1325 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, or click in here for more information.
In the most sophisticated alerting system, NOAA Weather Radio Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME), digital coding is employed to activate only those special receivers programmed for specific emergency conditions in a specific area, typically a county. SAME can activate specially equipped radio and cable television receivers and provide a short text message that identifies the location and type of emergency. SAME will be the primary activator for the new Emergency Alert System planned by the Federal Communications Commission.
NOAA Weather Radio currently broadcasts from over 425 FM transmitters in fifty states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Saipan on seven frequencies in the VHF band, ranging from 162.400 to 162.550 megahertz (MHz). These frequencies are outside the normal AM or FM broadcast bands.
Special radios that receive only NOAA Weather Radio, both with and without special alerting features, are available from several manufacturers. In addition, other manufacturers are including NOAA Weather Radio as a special feature on an increasing variety of receivers. NOAA Weather Radio capability is currently available on some automobile, aircraft, marine, citizens band, and standard AM/FM radios as well as communications receivers, transceivers, scanners, and cable TV.
NOAA Weather Radio is a service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. As the "Voice of the National Weather Service," it provides continuous broadcasts of the latest weather information from local National Weather Service offices. Weather messages are repeated every 4 to 6 minutes and are routinely updated every I to 6 hours or more frequently in rapidly changing local weather or if a nearby hazardous environmental condition exists. Most stations operate 24 hours daily.
The regular broadcasts are specifically tailored to weather information needs of the people within the service area of the transmitter. For example, in addition to general weather information, stations in coastal areas provide information of interest to mariners. Other specialized information, such as hydrological forecasts and climatological data may be broadcast.
During severe weather, National Weather Service forecasters can interrupt the routine weather broadcasts and insert special warning messages concerning imminent threats to life and property. The forecaster can also add special signals to warnings that trigger "alerting" features of specially equipped receivers. In the simplest case, this signal activates audible or visual alarms, indicating that an emergency condition exists within the broadcast areas of the station being monitored, and alerts the listener to turn up the volume and stay tuned for more information. More sophisticated receivers are automatically turned on and set to an audible volume when an alert is received.
Two way radio with NOAA weather alert, which can receive emergency alerts of various life-threatening weather events and prepare in advance.