NOAA 2002-007
Contact: Susan Weaver
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service will begin testing a new voice for NOAA Weather Radio at five weather forecast offices in January and early February. The new computer voice program has lifelike male and female voices that will be fine-tuned at each site to ensure words and geographical names are understandable to listeners in regions of Mt. Holly, N.J. (Philadelphia area); Melbourne, Fla.; Des Moines, Iowa; Portland, Ore.; and Atlanta.

NOAA Weather Service, an agency of the Commerce Department's National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, carried out an extensive evaluation of computer speech programs, as well as a survey of public and constituent comments, in order to select male and female weather radio voices that will effectively provide public warnings of severe weather conditions. The weather service expects to deploy the system to all other weather forecast offices by the end of March.

"Your NOAA Weather Radio can mean the difference between life and death during a hurricane, tornado, or flash flood," said retired general Jack Kelly, director of the National Weather Service. "We chose a software voice that is more easily understood because it combines phonetic sounds with natural language. At the same time, it integrates with our console replacement system in delivering prompt warnings in situations where seconds can save lives."

NOAA's Weather Service first used a computer synthesized voice technology in 1997. Automating NOAA Weather Radio transmissions enabled the weather service to send out multiple independent warnings over multiple transmitters simultaneously, allowing speedier delivery of severe weather warnings and more lead time for the public.

NOAA's Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts, and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA's Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warnings and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property, and enhance the national economy.

For more about NOAA's National Weather Service visit

The new and old voices are on the NOAA Weather Radio Web site at-

To learn more about NOAA Weather Radio -