National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

NOAA Weather Radio...Improving For the Future

Additional NOAA Weather Radio transmitters will continue to expand the nationwide network coverage to more rural areas. With new digital technology, life-saving messages broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio will now be targeted to a specific area, like a county or portion of a state, to bring more hazard-specific information to the listening area. Additional digital technology will provide automated broadcast capability for more timely service. Digital technology also allows these messages to be automatically received by all the communications industries of the information superhighway broadcast, cable, satellites and other media through the Federal Communications Commission's Emergency Alert System.

"Our goal is to someday have a NOAA Weather Radio in every home, just like a smoke detector, and in all schools, hospitals and other public gathering places. NOAA Weather Radio gives people the kind of information they need to safeguard themselves and their home before, during and after a disaster."
Dr. Elbert W. Friday, Jr., Director, National Weather Service

Receivers to Fit Different Needs

Weather radios come in many sizes and with a variety of functions and costs. Many of the radios sound a tone alarm and/or turn on the audio when severe weather announcements or emergency information are broadcast. To make use of the new digital coding technology, more sophisticated weather radio receivers will be required. Most NOAA Weather Radio receivers are either battery-operated portables or AC-powered desktop models with battery backup so they can be used in many different situations. Some CB radios, scanners, short wave and AM/FM radios are capable of receiving NOAA Weather Radio transmissions. Many communities throughout the United States also make Weather Radio available on cable TV and broadcast television's secondary audio programming channels.


The goal of the National Weather Service and other emergency preparedness agencies is to expand the reach of weather radio broadcasts to 95 percent of the U.S. population. Innovative partnerships between the Weather Service, private sector organizations and state and local governments are fueling this expansion. For more information about developing a partnership with the National Weather Service, contact your local Weather Service office.