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High Country Observer


National Weather Service Riverton, WY
Volume 7 Issue 2, December 2003

Page 4




The "New" Voice of the National Weather Service

By Chad Hahn

Intern Meteorologist



        The NWS implemented two new and improved automated voices to be broadcast across the NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) airwaves nationwide in 2002 and 2003. The two new voices (one male named "Craig" and the other female named "Donna") are more comparable to the human voice and more easily understood than the computer generated voices of the late 1990's.

        NOAA Weather Radio transmitters have broadcast important weather information 24 hours a day/7 days a week since their inception in the1950's, when the United States Weather Bureau began broadcasting aviation weather on two stations. Partially influenced by the Super Spring Tornado Outbreak of April 1974, the White House mandated the use of NWR to inform the public of natural disasters and nuclear attacks in January 1975. Today, more than 450 transmitters, broadcasting vital weather information over 800 unique weather radio stations, dot the landscape of the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and adjacent waters.

        NOAA Weather Radio provides the public with potentially life saving weather information when seconds count. Hazardous watches and warnings, encompassing weather conditions ranging from tornadoes to blizzards, are broadcast to the public nearly instantaneously. NOAA Weather Radio is equipped with a special tone alarm feature that can sound an alert when threatening weather approaches anytime day or night. This feature will enable the listener to wait for the alarm to keep themselves and their families safe in dangerous situations. In addition to weather information, NWR is able to receive non-weather information, such as AMBER Alerts and technological accidents (ex. chemical release and oil spills).

        Residents of Western and Central Wyoming can receive NWR broadcasts on frequencies between 162.400 and 162.550 from one of 9 transmitters located throughout the Cowboy State. For NWR transmitter locations and frequencies in Wyoming, please visit /riw/nwr . By the end of 2004, three more transmitters will be installed serving residents of Pinedale and Yellowstone National Park. NOAA Weather Radio receivers may be purchased from your local electronics store at prices ranging between $30 and $80.



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