Under a January 1975 White House policy statement, NOAA Weather Radio became the only Government-operated radio system designated to provide direct weather warnings to private homes.
One of the main reasons people do not know about Weather Radio is because it is not broadcast on FM and AM bands. Weather Radio is found 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 get the broadcast, it is necessary to have a specialized receiver.
Weather Radio broadcasts originate 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. .
Weather Radio provides more than severe weather warnings. Area forecasts, hourly weather reports, and summaries of past weather are just a few examples of what is available. This information is routinely updated. During adverse weather, along with forecasts and warnings, safety information is often broadcast.
When it becomes necessary to issue a severe weather warning, the National Weather Service will activate an alarm tone. Given an audible alert, you do not have to continuously monitor your radio when storms are coming. Since most Weather Radios are portable, you can take them camping, on vacations, or other trips.
Weather Radio Specific Area Message Encoders (SAME)
When severe storms are expected, you may not wish to get warning tones for all parts of the state. Weather Radio Specific Area Message Encoder (SAME) technology makes it possible to pick locations where tones are desired. Just program special codes (shown closer to the top of the page) for your county and surrounding counties, and you will be alerted when severe weather approaches. Look for radios with SAME technology in an electronics store near you!
Console Replacement System (CRS)
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, which is the main benefit of the system. Admittedly, the voices of CRS sound a little different from the human voices heard in the past on NOAA Weather Radio. The good news is that the computer voice quality has vastly improved over time.
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