Be prepared for bad
weather -- buy a NOAA Weather Radio!
Reporting a Transmitter
Do you have a comment about the NWR broadcast from one
of the transmitters listed below?
Baltimore-Washington Forecast Office broadcasts over 8 transmitters:
Baltimore (Pikesville) MD -- KEC-83 on 162.400 MHz at 1000 Watts
Hagerstown (Clear Springs) MD -- WXM-42 on 162.475 MHz at 1000 Watts
Manassas (Independence Hill) VA -- KHB-36 on 162.55 MHz at 1000 Watts
Moorefield WV -- WXM-73 on 162.400 MHz at 500 Watts
Frostburg MD -- WXM-43 on 162.425 MHz at 300 Watts
Charlottesville (Covesville) VA -- KZZ-28 on 162.450 MHz at 1000 Watts
Washington DC -- WNG-736 on 162.450 MHz at 300 Watts (fully commissioned as of June 6, 2011)
Fredericksburg VA -- WZ-2527 on 162.425 MHz at 300 Watts
Links to additional
School NOAA Weather Radio Program & setup information
National NOAA Weather Radio Page
Radio Codes by State and County (FIPS)
What Messages are Toned on the radio
List of counties toned for each
NWR Broadcast Service Map
NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio Receiver Recalls
For information on Weather Radio receiver recalls, go to the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission web site and search for "Radios Weather".
What's new with NOAA Weather Radio?
NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts weather information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
from the National Weather Service. It is the fastest way to receive weather warnings and
information. Tone-alert radios can wake you at night or alert you when television or other radios
are not turned on that hazardous weather is headed your way. Weather radios should be in every home
and facility much like smoke detectors now are. NOAA Weather Radio saves lives
When does your office conduct its weekly NOAA Weather Radio alert
Every Wednesday between 11 am and Noon is the test of the NOAA Weather Radio tone-alert
system and the SAME alert system. This is true all across the country. You can take your NOAA
Weather Radio with you on vacations and business trips. The test is received by the specially built
NOAA Weather Radios with the tone-alert and/or the SAME-alert features. People purchasing these
radios should use the test to ensure that their radios are functioning properly. Tests of the NOAA
Weather Radio warning system will be canceled in situations were hazardous weather and warnings are
already present in your listening area or are expected in the next couple hours.
Answers to other common questions:
Streaming Audio: There are sites that people post their live feeds to on the
internet. They can be found by search engine. People have asked if we will could make it so that
they can listen to our NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts over the internet. Some National Weather
Service Offices have made this available to internet users. The local Baltimore-Washington
Office uses the same web server on which the NWS national web pages resides. To set up
streaming audio, we would have to have a dedicated, live feed to the server. This would be extremely
expensive. If , at some time in the future, we move our web page to a server located at our office,
then we could do the internet broadcast and would be excited about providing that service.
My Weather Radio no longer picks up your broadcast: The majority of NOAA Weather
Radios work flawlessly for the first few years. Some radios using analog technology will stray with
time from the frequency that they are tuned to. You may need to decide whether to buy a new radio or
take this one in for repairs. However, other things could also be causing this problem. Try moving
the radio around to other locations and see if it begins picking up the signal again. Nearby
development and other wireless systems in your area may be creating some interference. You might
need a stronger antenna or an exterior antenna for your radio. If you decide that it is time to
purchase a new radio, see if the seller of the radio will let you test it at your location and
return it for a full refund if it does not work. Prices for NOAA Weather Radios range from $17 to
$90 and the reliability can vary based on the quality of the radio, the distance you are from the
transmitter, and any other outside interference.
My Weather Radio no longer picks up your alerts: Our alert system is tested every
Wednesday. Every once in a while there may be a problem with the Wednesday test and people who
monitor this quickly alert us so we can correct it. So if you have only missed one alert, it could
be our problem, if you are missing multiple alerts, it is your radio's problem and you should
read #2 above. If you are using a SAME radio (see discussion in NWR 2000 section above), it needs a
clear digital burst to decode the message and any interference may limit your ability to receive
Could there be a problem with your transmitter? Yes. Our Manassas
transmitter is closely monitored by our office and people outside our office. We are usually quickly
informed of any problems. However, it is harder for us to monitor our other transmitters. If you
listen to our Hagerstown, Moorefield, or Baltimore transmitters and have noticed a slow
deterioration in the broadcast quality or a problem that has lasted longer than several hours, then
call or e-mail us so we can look into it. Be sure to include where your radio is (what town), what
transmitter or frequency you listen to, when the problem developed and what it is, what model radio
you are using, and a phone number that we can contact you at to help us solve the problem. One
problem that for brief periods will affect your reception if you are more than 20 miles from the
transmitter occurs whenever the transmitter powers down. If the broadcast from our office is
lost for a few minutes, the power momentarily goes out, or we have to switch to our backup
transmitter (on the same tower), the transmitter goes on low power. For some of our older
transmitters (Hagerstown & Moorefield), this means that it is broadcasting at 100 Watts versus
1000 Watts and it takes 45 minutes for the transmitter to warm back up to full power. While it is on
low power it emits a beeping sound in the background of the broadcast.
We ask you to help support us with your comments and ideas to make NWR a timely and accurate source
of weather information that you can trust. Send your comments to Amy Bettwy@noaa.gov.