NOAA 03-R255
Contact: Curtis Carey
NOAA News Releases 2003
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Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NOAA Weather Service) joined counterparts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service and BEK Communications to dedicate a new NOAA Weather Radio transmitter today in Steele, N.D. NOAA is an agency of the Department of Commerce.

According to Warning Coordination Meteorologist John Paul Martin of the NOA Weather Service forecast office in Bismarck, the agency began broadcasting over the NOAA Weather Radio transmitter in early March. The transmitter is located just off State Highway 3, 14 miles south of Dawson and serves Kidder and Logan counties in south-central North Dakota. The 300-watt transmitter broadcasts on a frequency of 162.400 MHz. NOAA Weather Radio transmitters have an effective broadcast range of about 40 miles, depending on terrain and other factors.

Purchase and installation of the transmitter system were accomplished through a joint effort by the BEK Communications Cooperative, which provided tower space for the antennae; the USDA Rural Utilities Service, which funded the project; and NOAA.

“Making this transmitter a reality is an excellent example of what the public and private sectors can accomplish in partnership to help keep the public informed about weather and safe from the impacts of severe weather,” Martin said. “We’re proud to be a part of such a successful effort.”

The “voice of the National Weather Service,” NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts originate at Weather Service forecast offices across the country. NOAA Weather Radio is an all hazards warning service which provides civil emergency messages and the quickest access to severe weather and flood warnings, as well as providing important weather information and forecasts around the clock, 365 days a year.

The NOAA Weather Radio network has more than 800 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. Pacific Territories.

Weather radios come in many sizes, with a variety of functions and costs. Some receivers automatically sound an alarm and turn themselves on if a severe weather warning is broadcast and can be programmed to warn for weather and civil emergencies in a specific county. Most NOAA Weather Radio receivers are either battery-operated portables or AC-powered desktop models with battery backup. Some televisions, scanners, HAM radios, CB radios, short wave receivers, and AM/FM radios are also capable of receiving NOAA Weather Radio transmissions. Weather radios can be purchased at many electronics stores.

For additional information about the Steele NOAA Weather Radio transmitter, contact John Paul Martin at the Bismarck Weather Forecast Office at 701-250-4494.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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