What Is the NOAA Weather Radio Frequencies?
Even though most of our cell phones have built-in radios and apps that keep us well informed and updated, it is important to have a separate radio as well. Because, if all else fails, at least you’ll have your radio as a means of communication.
Moreover, using the NOAA weather radio frequencies, you can get all kinds of weather reports and important alerts. But what is the NOAA weather radio frequencies? Before we get to that, you need to know a little bit about radio frequencies and how they are used.
About Radio Frequency
You might not realize it, but you are using radio frequency all the time. Despite its name, radio frequencies are not just limited to radios. From the GPS in your car to the 4G on your cellphone and the microwave in your kitchen, there are radio frequencies all around you. Although radio frequencies are most commonly used in transmission and wireless communication systems.
Radio Frequency (RF) represents the rate of oscillation of an alternating electric current or electromagnetic radio waves. It is the lowest portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Radio Frequency constitutes a band of frequencies in the range of 3 KHz and 300 GHz.
The radio frequency spectrum has various ranges starting from Very Low Frequency (VLF) with frequencies in the range 3 KHz and 30 KHz, and ending at Extremely High Frequency (EHF) with frequencies in the range 30 GHz and 300 GHz.
Additionally, there are various devices around you that have their own specific radio frequencies. For example:
- Alarm Systems that operate on around 40 MHz
- Baby Monitors that operate on around 49 MHz
- Remote Controlled Cars that operate on around 75 MHz
- Cell Phones that operate on around 837 MHz
Even though Radio Frequency represents a whole spectrum, it is often used synonymously as Radio. AM radios usually operate on the frequency bands along 535 KHz to 1.7 MHz, while FM radios use frequencies between 88 MHz and 108 MHz. The NOAA Weather Radio is also a kind of FM radio.
NOAA Weather Radio
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio (NWR), also known as the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, is an FM weather radio network operating on Very High Frequency (VHF). This 24-hour network broadcasts weather information in the U.S. from National Weather Service offices.
These broadcasts include a range of weather information, such as local and regional forecasts, climate summaries, and lake or coastal forecasts. This public service caters to more than 90% of the U.S. population. Besides all U.S. states, NOAA Weather Radio also covers the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Saipan, Puerto Rican territories, and adjacent coastal waters.
In extreme weather conditions, the network reports dangerous weather scenarios, special weather announcements, and short-term forecasts. Moreover, they also broadcast non-weather related news dealing with natural disasters, national security matters, and the likes. During emergencies, sometimes, they repeat their broadcasts on the television as well.
What Is the NOAA Weather Radio Frequencies?
NOAA Weather Radio Frequencies are the frequencies used by the NOAA Weather Radio. They use seven particular frequencies, which are:
- 162.400 MHz
- 162.425 MHz
- 162.450 MHz
- 162.475 MHz
- 162.500 MHz
- 162.525 MHz
- 162.550 MHz
You will need a specific weather radio to pick up these frequencies and receive weather updates. If you’re confused about which one to buy, make sure to learn about your needs and the NOAA Weather Radio frequency that is better for your location.
Initially, the 163.275 MHz frequency was also used as a backup. However, later, it was removed as there were interference issues with other agencies. The NOAA Weather Radio has also assigned these frequencies weather band channels from WX1 to WX7.
They broadcast using transmitters located in Philadelphia, Allentown, Hibernia Park, Atlantic City, Southard, Hardyston Township, Lewes, and Sudlersville. A full-power transmitter uses 1,000 watts and can transmit over forty miles on average. The transmitting range can vary depending on the terrain, transmitting antenna power, height, and power of the transmitter, and quality of the receiver.
Furthermore, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda also use the same VHF FM frequencies so you should be able to receive weather updates on your receiver if you are traveling there.
NOAA Weather Radio Frequency Receivers
You can’t listen to the NOAA Weather Radio on any regular radio. It has to be a VHF weather radio receiver or a special scanner that can pick up NOAA weather radio frequencies. Additionally, even within weather radio receivers, there are several types out there.
There are professional-grade receivers, which are used by television and radio stations for repeating weather forecasts and emergency alerts. There are also base-station consumer radios, which run on your usual AC power. Lastly, there are hand-crank radios that don’t need any battery power to run. These hand-crank radios are portable and ideal for emergencies.
Hand-held radios are the most common. They rely on a battery for power and are perfect for hikers and campers. Other than that, certain devices like portable televisions, some FM radios, and GMRS radios can also receive NOAA weather broadcasts.
Before you buy a weather radio, make sure to check the transmitter in your area and what kind of coverage it has. You’ll have to buy a radio accordingly. In addition, go for a radio that has an alarm function so that you can be alerted instantly in times of emergency. NOAA Weather Radio is also working on new technology that will use GPS signals to forecast weather.
While we would all like to enjoy some time totally cut off from the rest of the world, it can get quite hard in today’s fast-paced world. Imagine being alone in the woods or on the boat, with no cellphone signals and no one to warn you of an impending storm. It is precisely situations like these that make it crucial for everyone to know what is the NOAA Weather Radio frequencies.
Knowing these frequencies is not only convenient but can mean the difference between life and death, especially when natural disasters are becoming more and more common in various parts of the world. Due to their history with natural disasters, recently people of Ottawa were given weather radios so that they are always updated about the weather situation.