10 Interesting Facts About Weather Alert Radios

Jan 9, 2013  |    |  Weather Radios

  1. NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio (NWR) is the “Voice of NOAA’s National Weather Service.”  NWR, a nationwide network of radio stations, broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information out to weather radios 24 hours a day.
  2.  The NWR network includes more than 1000 transmitters covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, plus Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and U.S. Pacific Territories. NWR’s broadcasts can be picked up only by weather alert radios or scanners with the capability to receive its VHF signal.
  3. Every year, the National Weather Service (NWS) collects some 76 billion observations and issues approximately 1.5 million forecasts and 50,000 warnings.
  4. Weather radio transmitters are located in all 50 states. There are more transmitters located in Texas than any other state.
  5. Over 98% of the U.S. population lives in areas covered by NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts.
  6. Canada has its own network of weather radio transmitters that broadcast alerts from Environment Canada.
  7. There are five transmitters that broadcast alerts, current weather information and forecasts in Spanish, either exclusively or translated after the English broadcast. Spanish language transmitters are located in Miami, San Diego, El Paso, San Juan and Albuquerque.
  8. Cooperating with Homeland Security, Federal, State, and Local Emergency Managers and other public officials, NWR can broadcast warning and post-event information for all types of situations including AMBER alerts, civil emergencies, and nuclear or radiological hazards.
  9. The voices heard on NOAA Weather Radio aren’t human, but they do have names. Tom and Donna are the English voices’ names, and Javier is the Spanish voice. All three voices are produced using the Speechify text-to-speech system, which was implemented during the 1990s system upgrade. The original computerized voice was called Paul, which was retired in the 90s.
  10. The National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK estimates that mobile home residents are 15 times more likely to be killed by a tornado than those living in permanent homes. Indiana passed C.J.’s Law requiring NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards public alert radios in all new and relocated mobile homes, but a federal version never went to vote.