The NOAA National Weather Service and America's emergency managers continue to strengthen their partnership to help protect lives and property faced by the threat of severe weather. One shining example of this alliance is The Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (EMWIN), a system that transmits live weather information to computers across the U.S., the Caribbean, Central America and over most of the Pacific Ocean.
EMWIN Is A
The EMWIN data stream is retrieved from satellite by emergency management groups and municipal agencies, and retransmitted through local radio frequencies. The VHF retransmission can be accessed by anyone within a 40-50 mile range of the transmitter's signal and displayed on their computer screen. Using retransmission software, agencies can tailor the information to fit their specific area by filtering the products-warnings, watches and other weather news that do not apply.
Through the Internet,
computer users also can receive the broadcast or access the data stream
by visiting the EMWIN Web site at http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/emwin/index.htm.
Users are given a choice of receiving weather information with enhanced
graphics, including radar and satellite images, or in a plain text format.
Additionally, users can download EMWIN software from commercial EMWIN
software vendors that operates with the Internet or through other wireless
Anyone who receives the broadcast can configure their computer to sound an alarm when a certain product arrives. Alarm features include: automatic activation of lights, sirens, printers, pagers, electronic mail and other forms of notification. These techniques are ideal for people on the go, the disabled, emergency management operation centers or anyone that needs to stay informed about weather and emergency situations.
EMWIN is currently undergoing a transition to remain compatible with the next series of GOES satellites, the GOES-N thru P constellation. Sometime before 2011 the current GOES satellite will be replaced by the new series. All current EMWIN users will need to migrate to newer technologies due to frequency, power and modulation changes. To meet these future needs the NOAA National Weather Service is now working on EMWIN-N. In coordination with the NOAA Satellite and Information Service, a working prototype has been developed and is in the final stages of testing. The prototype is capable of receiving both the current and future broadcasts allowing for a smooth transition. Details will be available to manufacturers and the public on the EMWIN Web site. Moving to the EMWIN-N broadcast will allow the NOAA National Weather Service to make use of improved technologies and will double the current data rate. As always, the NOAA National Weather Service is dedicated to seeking ways and means of making the upcoming transition as low in cost as possible to the EMWIN user community.
For the latest information about EMWIN transmission and reception capabilities check http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/emwin/winbca.htm.
In many areas the EMWIN data is rebroadcast by local radio. For further information about rebroadcasts visit http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/emwin/retrans.htm.
For updated information about the EMWIN vendors, including technical information about their hardware and software visit http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/emwin/winven.htm.
For more information contact Chris Vaccaro, NOAA National Weather Service, at (301) 713-0622.
Updated May 2005