NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards and SAME
The "Voice of the National Weather Service," NOAA Weather Radio provides continuous radio broadcasts of the latest weather information direct from the NWS. Weather messages are repeated about every five minutes and are updated every one to three hours. Regular broadcasts include the current temperature, the latest weather forecast, up to date climatological information, and bulletins on river and lake conditions.
Forecasters interrupt routine scheduling when severe weather threatens: Special watch or warning messages replace the regular broadcast so listeners can keep abreast of rapidly changing or fast-moving weather conditions.
NOAA Weather Radio includes signals which trigger alert features on specially equipped receivers when warnings are posted on dangerous storms. In some cases, the receiver is automatically turned on, in others the receiver sounds a loud tone to alert listeners to the special weather bulletin being aired.
A more sophisticated alerting system is now available. Called SAME (for Specific Area Message Encoder), this system uses digital technology to allow listeners to select the specific weather threat and specific area for which they want to be alerted. Additionally, SAME broadcasts include a short text message that can be captured by specially equipped radios and cable television receivers to identify the location and kind of weather emergency. SAME is at the heart of the new Emergency Alert System in the Mid-South.
If you own a NWR SAME receiver, you will need to program the county you wish to receive watches and warnings for into the radio. It will then alert you only of weather and other emergencies for the county(s) you have programmed. Older (non-SAME) NWR receivers without the SAME capability would alert for emergencies anywhere within the coverage area of the NWR transmitter, typically several counties, even though the emergency could be well away from the listener. The SAME technology can eliminate this appearance of overwarning. A list of SAME codes for counties in the MWN Service Area can be found below. Click here for a complete listing for anywhere in the nation.
The special radio receivers needed for NOAA Weather Radio are available at many electronics and specialty stores. Prices range from around $15 to around $80 for more heavily-equipped receivers. Many radio scanners and marine and citizens band receivers capture broadcasts from NWR as well. MWN uses and recommends the Midland WR-100 radio with SAME encoding (pictured above), which can be purchased at many local electronics retailers. For consumer information on purchasing and programming NOAA Weather Radio, click here.
Coverage of the MWN Service Area is provided by two NWR transmitters, WXK-49 in Memphis, bradcasting on a frequency of 162.475 MHz, and KIH-52 in Oxford, broadcasting on a frequency of 162.55 MHz. Below are maps showing the coverage areas of these two transmitters. Click each for a printable PDF document of the map.
Click here to listen
to NOAA Weather Radio from Memphis