NOAA 03-R299-62
Contact: Marilu Trainor
NOAA News Releases 2003
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With severe weather always a threat, residents living in Mono County, including the Mammoth Lakes area in central California, can now stay on top of weather activity with a direct link to official forecasts. A new NOAA Weather Radio transmitter was recently installed at Conway Summit, just north of Mono Lake, and has begun broadcasting weather information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office in Reno, Nev. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Reno’s Meteorologist-in-Charge Jane Hollingsworth said the broadcasts include the latest warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day for the residents and visitors to the base of the Sierra Mountains near Yosemite National Park.

Hollingsworth added, “With the addition of this transmitter to our broadcast network, motorists on
U.S. Highway 395 can receive NOAA Weather Radio information from northern Inyo County to north of Reno.” NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards – both natural (such as earthquakes) and environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills). The broadcasts can be heard at a frequency of 162.525 Mhz.

The transmitter was purchased by Mono County with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. The grants were designed to help rural counties install weather radio stations they may not otherwise be able to afford. Mono County will pay for maintenance of the radio station while the NWS will pay for relaying the weather information to the transmitter.

“The USDA grants program is an effective way for federal government and private enterprise to work together to help prepare citizens for severe weather events,” Hollingsworth said.

“Up-to-the-minute weather information will help keep both residents and visitors in Mono County safe, especially during hazardous weather or flooding,” said Dan Paranick, sheriff and emergency services director for Mono County. “In addition to weather information, NOAA Weather Radio can be used by county officials to broadcast emergency information about other dangers, including earthquakes, wildfires and volcanic eruptions.”

Roger Lamoni, warning coordination meteorologist in Reno, said, “We are grateful to the cooperators, who helped make this project a reality. When you don’t have a radio or TV turned on, having a NOAA Weather Radio helps protect your family, yourself and your property. The latest technology will be used to provide the NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts. The NWS can now send weather statements and warnings straight from the forecaster to the public, saving five to 10 minutes or more.”

A NOAA Weather Radio broadcast saved dozens of lives in Van Wert, Ohio. A November 2002 tornado devastated parts of the town. A Van Wert movie theater manager ushered 50 movie goers to safety after hearing a NWS tornado warning over a special weather radio. The tornado destroyed the building, tossing cars into the front seats where kids and parents were sitting just moments before.

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 twenty-first transmitter that provides weather radio service in Washington state.

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The 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.

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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