Youngstown and Mahoning County Public Library: NOAA Weather Services
Twenty-four hours a day, the Weather Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadcast a continuous stream of information for the National Weather Service (NWS). Weather reports repeat every four to ten minutes and are updated every one to three hours, depending on conditions. NOAA issues warnings, watches, forecasts and other information about hazards, including chemical releases and oil spills. It can also send AMBER alerts for missing children. There are over 1,000 transmitters in the system which cover almost 90% of the United States using a special VHF band that requires a special radio receiver or scanner to listen.
Signal reception is based on various factors, but is greatly affected by local terrain. Hilly or urban areas may have less than desirable signals, but the typical signal reaches a radius of 40 miles. For a list of all zone broadcast station locations, click here.
How to get a radio. NOAA does not manufacture or sell weather radios. It operates the network of transmitters and allows radio manufacturers to use its name on qualified radios to broadcast its signal on seven different frequencies. Radios are available from around $ 20 and up at many types of outlets, including department stores, electronics stores, and online shopping. You can also spend a bit more on multi-function radios, including shortwave, CBs, marines, and scanners.
What to look for in a radio. SAME (Specific Alert Message Encoding) allows you to specify the zone for which you wish to receive alerts so that your alarm does not sound for zones not close to those where you wish to hear reports. Other radios allow you to turn off the alarm for events that are not of concern to you. Battery backup is also a great feature, as power outages are more common in inclement weather conditions. Some radios may also have an external antenna socket which can extend its range and clarity. Finally, if you need additional notification devices such as strobe lights or bed shakers, these can also be purchased for an additional charge.
Weather radio voices. At first, all voices on weather stations were those of NOAA personnel. As the system developed and to increase the speed of delivery, a computerized voice system was incorporated. The first was nicknamed “Paul”. The people listening did not like Paul’s voice. So, at the end of 2000, new voices, “Donna” and “Craig” were introduced. Craig has been replaced by “Tom”, and on some sites, “Javier”, a Spanish voice, has been used. The last generation replaced Donna and Tom with “Paul” and Javier with “Violetta”. Voice samples can be heard here.
Cooperative Observer Program (Coop). Formed in 1890 under Organic Law, COOP comprises over 8,700 volunteers from all parts of the country who collect weather data, including low and high temperatures, rainfall totals, and weather forecast observational data. real.
NWS SKYWARN Storm Watch Program. It is a volunteer program with nearly 400,000 trained severe weather observers with a primary focus on local thunderstorms. Anyone can join this regional program after completing a free two-hour course.
NOAA solar calculator. This page of the NOAA site will show you the times of sunrise, sunset, and azimuth (the direction of the sun for the given date, time, and location), and solar noon (the time at which the sun crosses the meridian of the observer’s location). It can be found here.
Space Weather Forecast Center. How weather affects the earth is first influenced by the sun. NOAA provides weather information for the aviation, power, GPS, radio, and satellite industries. For a more in-depth study, go here.
Find it at the library:
Times of anger: heat waves, floods, storms and the new science of climate change. Otto, Friederike.
The extreme weather survival manual. Mersereau, Denis.
Weather Field Guide: Learn to identify clouds and storms, forecast the weather, and stay safe. Henning, Ryan.
Miss Cindy has been around Ohio libraries for many years. She creates programs for all ages because even if she loves the little ones, her passion is to do “stuff”. Cindy’s husband asks that you don’t show him or tell him new “stuff”. But Cindy knows you’re going to listen to her, and she’s going to make it a lickety-split program!
This press release was produced by Youngstown and Mahoning County Public Library. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.