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Why Didn’t I Hear the Required Weekly Test on My NOAA Weather Radio?

National Weather Service (NWS) offices across the country conduct regular weekly tests of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). All EAS systems are required by law to be tested on a weekly basis. These Required Weekly Tests (RWT) are not required to have audio or visual components, but some may include a brief message explaining test with an end-of-message tone. Some RWTs also identify the counties covered. NWS offices attempt to conduct RWTs at the same time every week, however, they will postpone tests during adverse weather.

Why Didn’t I Hear the Required Weekly Test on My NOAA Weather Radio?

Your desktop Midland weather radio knows it should receive a test signal from the local weather office once every seven days. Since FCC doesn’t require the test to be audible, the Required Weekly Test is typically silent, so by default your radio will make no noise when it receives the test. The RWT may be sent any day of the week, depending on your local weather office.

When the RWT is received, your radio’s ADVISORY light will light up, and “REQUIRED WEEKLY TEST” message will scroll across the display screen for the duration of the test. Some weather offices set the test duration for 15 minutes, and some set the duration for 6 hours. Regardless of the duration of the test, during that period your radio should respond visibly with the ADVISORY light and scrolling message, letting you know it is operating properly. By design, your radio’s RWT is silent so as not to disturb shift workers who may be asleep during the day. Most RWTs are issued between the hours of 11am and 7pm.

On Midland weather radio models WR400, WR300, and WR120 you can access the menu and turn the RWTs audible alert ON so the radio emits an eight-second alert tone during the RWT. Some people like to hear the alert tone so they know for certain their radio is operating. Check your manual for directions, or call our Midland Customer Service line at 816-462-0459 Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm Central time.

Again, the RWT is a silent weekly test which you can adjust for an audible weekly test, if you desire. This is most commonly done by emergency managers and National Weather Service offices to affirm their transmitters are operating properly.