NOAA Weather Radios

Weather Radios

NOAA Weather Radio is the best means to receive warnings from the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service continuously broadcasts warnings and forecasts that can be received by NOAA Weather Radios, which are sold in many stores. The average range is 40 miles, depending on topography. Purchase a radio that has a battery back-up and a specific area message encoder feature, which automatically alerts you when a watch or warning is issued for your county or parish.

When conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop, a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch is issued. Weather Service personnel use information from weather radar, spotters, and other sources to issue severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings for areas where severe weather is imminent. Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings are passed to local radio and television stations and are broadcast over local NOAA weather radio stations serving the warned areas. These warnings are also relayed to local emergency management and public safety officials who can activate local warning systems to alert communities. If a tornado warning is issued for your area or the sky becomes threatening, move to your pre-designated place of safety.

In conjunction with federal, state, and local emergency managers and other public officials, NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) also broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards, including natural (such as earthquakes or avalanches), environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills), and public safety (such as AMBER alerts or 911 Telephone outages).

Known as the voice of NOAA's National Weather Service, NWR is provided as a public service by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), part of the Department of Commerce. NWR includes 1000 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories. NWR requires a special radio receiver or scanner capable of picking up the signal.