National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
NOAA Weather Radio
Specific Area Message Encoder (SAME)
The Emergency Alert System (EAS)

Partial County Alerting

Your weather radio no longer has to be alarmed every time a warning is issued over NOAA Weather Radio. Whenever the National Weather Service issues weather warnings, newer types of weather radios on the market can determine if the warning is for your pre-defined specific location. If a particular warning is withnin your defined area, the radio will alarm. If the warning is outside of the area you defined, the radio will remain silent.

NOAA Weather Radio is the primary input to the Emergency Alert System (EAS) system for weather related emergencies. The method of encoding the location and type of emergency is referred to as "Specific Area Message Encoder" or SAME. Most weather radios can decode this SAME information, and alarm only if the emergency is in your location, and/or for the type of warning you want to receive.
The NWS will activate the NOAA Weather Radio SAME system for warnings of the following type...
  • TOR - Tornado Warning
  • SVR - Severe Thunderstorm Warning
  • FFW - Flash Flooding Warning
  • DSW - Dust Storm Warning
At the forecasters discretion, the following warnings may be SAME encoded...
  • HWW - High Wind Warning
  • WSW - Winter Storm Warning (Heavy Snow, Freezing Rain)
A weekly test of this system is activated every Wednesday between 1100 AM and noon, unless significant weather threatens southeast Arizona. This product is SAME encoded as...
  • RWT - Routine Weekly Test
The SAME code uses a combination of a geographic code (G), state code (SS), and county code (CCC) all combined into a 6 digit code with the following format: GSSCCC
The geographic code (G) defines what portion(s) of a particular county the warning is located. The following is a list of possible combinations for a geographic code...
  • 0 - Entire county
  • 1 - Northwest
  • 2 - North Central
  • 3 - Northeast
  • 4 - West Central
  • 5 - Central
  • 6 - East Central
  • 7 - Southwest
  • 8 - South Central
  • 9 - Southeast
The State code (SS) defines what state the warning is issued. Each state is given a two digit number. The state of Arizona is defined as 04.
The county code (CCC) is a three digit identifier for a particular county. The following numbers are defined for counties in Arizona...
  • 001 Apache
  • 003 Cochise
  • 005 Coconino
  • 007 Gila
  • 009 Graham
  • 011 Greenlee
  • 012 La Paz
  • 013 Marizopa
  • 015 Mohave
  • 017 Navajo
  • 019 Pima
  • 021 Pinal
  • 023 Santa Cruz
  • 025 Yavapai
  • 027 Yuma
The six digit FIPS code (GSSCCC) is the combination of the geographic code, state code, and county code. For instance, northeastern Pima county (The Tucson metro area) would be coded 304019. This is decoded as 3 for the geographic code (northeast), 04 for the state (Arizona), and 019 for the county (Pima).
*** NOTE *** At the present time in southeast Arizona, Pima, Pinal and Cochise counties use a geographic code other than 0 (all of the county). All other counties in southeast Arizona (Santa Cruz, Graham, and Greenlee) use 0 (zero) for the geographic code.
In Pima County the following codes are used...
  • 4 - Western two thirds (including the Tohono Oodham Nation, Ajo, Why and Organ Pipe NM)
  • 3 - Northeast one third (includes The Tucson Metro area, Oro Valley, Marana and Vail)
  • 9 - Southeast one third (includes Arivaca, Green Valley, Three Points, and Sahuarita)
In Pinal County...
  • 9 - Southeast one half (includes Oracle, Picacho Peak, Eloy and Kearny)
In Cochise County...
  • 1 - Northwest one quarter (includes Benson, Saint David and Texas Canyon)
  • 3 - Northeast one quarter (includes Willcox, San Simon, Sunsites and Portal)
  • 7 - Southwest one quarter (includes Fort Huachuca, Sierra Vista, Tombstone and Hereford)
  • 9 - Southeast one quarter (includes Douglas, Bisbee and McNeal)
So a warning for the Douglas area would be coded as 904003.


Further information on the FIPs code is available from

For additional information about NWR in southeast Arizona see:

If you would like further information on how EAS works in the Tucson area, send an email with your questions to