NOAA 03-R299-55
Contact: Marilu Trainor
NOAA News Releases 2003
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Residents in south Puget Sound and southwest Washington can now hear NOAA Weather Radio Olympia more clearly, thanks to a new transmitter located on Capitol Peak southwest of Olympia. The new transmitter is a cooperative effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and South Sound Broadcasting. NOAA is an agency of the Department of Commerce.

NOAA Weather Radio Olympia gives southwest Washington and south Sound residents flood, weather and all-hazards warning information direct from NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) in Seattle. The station retains its VHF-FM frequency of 162.475 MHz, but now broadcasts about 1,000 feet higher than its former transmitter site at BawFaw Peak, west of Chehalis. The enhanced reception area now provides expanded weather radio service into Hood Canal, south Puget Sound, east Grays Harbor County, and as far east as Mt. Rainier National Park.

Chris Hill, meteorologist in charge of the Seattle NWS Weather Forecast Office, said, “This partnership by South Sound Broadcasting and NOAA’s National Weather Service enhances vital flood and weather services to people in this region. Through partnership with South Sound Broadcasting, costs were shared for the Capitol Peak transmitter site.”

Hill added, “Citizens have flood and weather information available at their fingertips any time of the day or night. In addition, it provides an all-hazards warning system, particularly for those citizens living west of Mt. Rainier.”

Greg Smith, owner of South Sound Broadcasting and KAYO Radio, said, “We are delighted to help people in the region obtain constant weather information and provide a valuable all-hazards warning system to the community.”

Ted Buehner, warning coordination meteorologist at the Seattle Weather Forecast Office, said, “NOAA Weather Radio Olympia is a critical all-hazards warning system for the south Sound and much of southwest Washington. For residents downstream from Mt Rainier, this station now provides their first-ever direct warning system for river or volcanic hazards.”

NOAA Weather Radio provides current area weather forecasts and conditions, 24 hours a day direct from the National Weather Service. In cooperation with state and local emergency management, it also provides all-hazards Emergency Alert System warning messages directly to the public, including AMBER Alerts.

The NOAA Weather Radio network has more than 870 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. Pacific Territories. This station is the 21st transmitter that provides weather radio service in Washington state.

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

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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