Three New NOAA Weather Radio Sites On the Air in the Big Horn Basin
CODY - The National Weather Service held a ceremony in Cody on October 17th to dedicate three new NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) sites now serving the Big Horn Basin. "It was the kickoff to let everybody know all the weather radios are on in this area," said Joe Sullivan Meteorologist in Charge of the NWS office in Riverton. The ceremony was attended by emergency management officials from around the Big Horn Basin and officials from several partner agencies, including TCT West of Basin and Wyoming Public Television in Riverton. The three new sites were installed on McCullough Peaks east of Cody, on Cedar Mountain east of Hyattville, and on Copper Mountain southeast of Thermopolis.
The beautiful Buffalo Bill Historical Center provided a perfect backdrop for the ceremony, which was attended by members of the media, public, law enforcement, and emergency management. Park County Emergency Manager Bob Swanson greeted those gathered before handing the microphone to WFO Riverton MIC Joe Sullivan. Sullivan gave a brief history on NWR and thanked those who helped make the three sites reality. WFO Riverton WCM Chris Jones echoed those sentiments. He stated, "The dedication of these three NOAA Weather Radios today is the result of hard work put forth by many people, but especially those members of the emergency management family here in the Big Horn Basin." Jones also read congratulatory letters from Wyoming Senators Mike Enzi and Craig Thomas, and Congresswoman Barbara Cubin.
Dan Schiedel of Wyoming Public Television spoke on the importance of continued partnerships in establishing communications across Wyoming. Schiedel's organization partnered with the NWS to establish the Copper Mountain NWR site, one of the three new NWR sites serving the Big Horn Basin. Other speakers included Ron Salyer, Vice-President of the Emergency Management Association of Wyoming, and Washakie County Emergency Manager Chuck Mischke.
To receive up-to-the-minute forecasts and warnings, residents in Park county and much of Big Horn county can tune in WNG-563 at 162.400 MHz. Residents of Washakie county and southern Big Horn counties can tune in WNG-568 at 162.525 MHz, while the citizens of Hot Springs county and northeast Fremont county can listen to WNG-573 at 162.425 MHz. Preliminary indications also show that residents of southern Carbon county, Montana will also receive the WNG-563 broadcast from the McCullough Peaks. "The addition of these three transmitters greatly expands our ability to communicate important weather information and community safety information to residents of the Big Horn Basin. A seven band NOAA Weather Radio, equipped with an automatic alarm, can help protect families and their property by providing warnings and other weather information 24 hours a day," said Sullivan.
NWR is an all hazards communication system that can be utilized to alert the public of civil emergencies, which require action on the part of affected citizens. NWR is particularly valuable, because it can be remotely activated by the NWS during impending or ongoing critical weather for those customers who have especially equipped radios. A tone alarm will activate the NWR receiver to alert the owner any time of the day or night. NWR receivers are typically available at local electronics and discount stores.