What is a NOAA Weather Radio?

Written by TheReadyExpert

People who are unfamiliar with what a NOAA Weather Radio is might first think of an old guy with a long beard going into a big boat with a whole bunch of animal friends. This is a different type of NOAA. NOAA stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA falls under the United States Department of Commerce and among other things they are responsible to track all things weather related that impact our fine country. You have probably heard of the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center. These two organizations are inside of NOAA and provide all kinds of weather related information.

Each day, across the country, the National Weather Service (NWS) produces short broadcasts on the weather in your area. These broadcasts
are not picked up on a regular AM/FM radio. These weather broadcasts are transmitted on one of seven VHF frequencies that range from 162.440 MHz to 162.550 MHz. Because they are transmitted on these specific frequencies that lie outside the range of a standard AM/FM radio, most people have never heard them. But they can me extremely helpful and even save your life because these broadcasts will alert of severe
weather in your area.

So, with that out of the way, what is a NOAA Weather Radio? A NOAA Weather Radio is able to pick up those weather band broadcasts. They work just like a regular radio where you tune your dial to pick up the weather broadcast in your area. They are very simple to use and come in
variety of shapes and sizes. There are some NOAA Weather Radios that have an alert feature so that if there is severe weather in your area
(like a tornado), they will automatically turn on and start broadcasting. Many times these weather band radios are integrated with an AM/FM and/or a shortwave radio as well, so it is an all in one radio.

I recommend always having a good AM/FM radio, but if you live in an area that gets severe weather that is life threatening, having a NOAA Weather Radio could certainly save your life.

Updated March 19, 2009

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