Severe Weather Awareness 2018: Weather Radio and Mobile Alert Apps

Today’s Severe Weather Awareness Week topic covers a couple of ways of receiving warning information – NOAA Weather Radio and mobile alert apps. We have always advocated for having multiple ways to receive warnings, as no one solution is fool-proof or immune from dissemination issues.

Weather radio is the voice of the National Weather Service. It provides continuous weather information 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The nationwide network of weather radio stations provides the public with the fastest most reliable source of up-to-date weather information directly from the National Weather Service. You need a special radio to receive weather radio broadcasts, a radio that is capable of receiving signals in the very high frequency public service band.

Broadcasts may vary, but generally include area forecasts, present weather conditions, short-term forecasts, climatic data, river and lake stage forecasts, and other specialized information. The broadcasts are updated continuously. Weather radio is useful anytime, but it is most important when severe weather threatens. During periods of severe weather, routine programming is interrupted, and the focus shifted to the local severe weather threat. In an emergency, a warning alarm tone is broadcast that activates specially designed receivers to turn on automatically, or to produce a visual or audible alarm.

A typical NOAA Weather Radio console setup in an NWS office. strongly encourages every home to have a NOAA Weather Radio.  These devices are as important as smoke detectors and possess the same capability to save your life in the middle of the night.  Specifically, our favorites are from Midland and include the basic desktop version (WR-120, pictured at top).  It can be purchased at retailers such as Walgreen’s, Kroger, and other discount stores, as well as online retailers like Amazon for about $30-40. Learn more about NOAA Weather Radio on MWN’s Weather Radio page.

Alternative to Weather Radio – Mobile Apps

One problem with Weather Radio and warnings sirens for that matter is that they alert on a COUNTY-wide basis, even if the warning issued by the National Weather Service is for only a small portion of the county. To know if YOUR LOCATION is in the warned area, we highly recommend our personalized weather warning service, StormWatch+, which can be added to our MWN mobile apps for iPhone and Android.  StormWatch+ pairs the NWS polygons (or warning boxes that are drawn irrespective of county borders) with your GPS-provided location to send push notifications in the event that YOU are in harm’s way. No more alerts when the storm is 20-30 miles away and not a threat to your area! Learn more about StormWatch+ at and get personalized weather alerts in the palm of your hand!

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Visit on the web or on your mobile phone.
Download our iPhone or Android apps, featuring StormWatch+ severe weather alerts!

MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

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8 years ago

Once again thanks for all the work y'all do down there in the city..lots of us up here in T-County rely on MWN for the best info.