The Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (EMWIN), is back on the air, being broadcast from the St. Louis
County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Chesterfield, MO. The retransmission of the EMWIN data is being done
through a joint project between the National Weather Service and St. Louis County Emergency Management. The signal is
on a frequency of 460.425 Mhz and a power of 200 watts. At this power, the signal can likely be received in many surrounding
counties as well.
What is EMWIN? EMWIN is a low-cost method for receiving the National Weather Service's (NWS) essential information via a wireless (satellite) data system. The system allows for the data to be presented directly on your home or office computer in a user-friendly graphics display. Simple mouse clicks immediately retrieve the latest weather and flood warnings, watches, forecasts, statements, observations, and other data in a text format, along with a sub-set of weather graphics including the National Weather Summary and some satellite imagery. In all, over 6500 products are available. Users may set various
alarms to be alerted to particular information, whether for their local area or from adjacent areas. If you receive the signal
direct from the satellite, the signal is at 9600 baud and this very fast.
I would recommend EMWIN to anyone who needs a cost-effective method of receiving weather information from the NWS.
For a one-time cost of about $1000.00, you would have near real-time access to the latest NWS warnings, forecasts,
statements, etc. Once you buy the equipment necessary to receive the satellite signal, there are NO recurring costs. No
monthly charges, nothing.
The weather information is free; the only cost if for the receiving equipment and inexpensive commercial software. This digital data stream is available nationwide directly from several satellites and, in an increasing number of locations, in an easier and less costly manner using local radio rebroadcasts. This is what is being done in the St. Louis Area. The original satellite feed is being retransmitted at 1200 baud (not as fast). Using this method, users only need a scanner or other radio that can
receive the signal, a demodulator, a personal computer, and the software. Simply use an audio cord from the audio out on
the scanner or radio to the demodulator, connect the demodulator to an open comm port on a computer, and away you go.
About a $100 investment would do the job (provided you already have a computer).