FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marilu Trainor
News Releases 2003
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With severe weather always a threat, residents of Garfield County, Mont., can now stay on top of storm activity with a direct link to official weather forecasts. A new NOAA Weather Radio transmitter was installed at Jordan and is now broadcasting information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NOAA National Weather Service) forecast office in Glasgow. NOAA is part the U.S. Department of Commerce.
According to Meteorologist-in-Charge Julie Adolphson, the broadcasts includes the latest warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day. 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). Citizens within approximately 30 miles of Jordan can tune in to 162.500 MHz for the broadcasts.
"Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service grant program, Garfield County purchased and donated this transmitter to the NOAA Weather Service. Mid-Rivers Telephone Communications donated the tower space for 15 years, and McCone Electric donated 15 years of electrical power" said Adolphson.
“We are grateful to the county and the cooperators who helped make this project happen. This expansion weather radio site significantly increases our ability to reach the community directly with vital warnings. When you don’t have a radio or TV turned on, having a seven band NOAA Weather Radio at home or work that has an alarm helps you protect your family, yourself and your property,” she added.
Adolphson added, “Jordan is the county seat, has the largest concentration of population and is in the heart of eastern Montana. It is the area’s hub for those who grow grains, raise livestock or provide various recreational opportunities. People come here for fishing, hunting, camping and boating all year long. Each of these customers relies on accurate and timely weather information.
“This new NOAA Weather Radio site will help us meet that challenge. The USDA program is an effective way for Federal government and private enterprise to work together to help prepare citizens for severe weather events.”
Tanja Fransen, the warning coordination meteorologist at the Glasgow office, said: “NOAA Weather Radio allows us to send weather statements and warnings straight from the forecaster to the public, saving 5 to 10 minutes or more.”
Fransen pointed out that a NOAA Weather Radio broadcast saved dozens of lives recently in Van Wert, Ohio. A November 10, 2002 tornado devastated parts of the town. A Van Wert movie theater manager ushered 50 movie goers to safety after hearing a NOAA Weather Service 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.
Weather radios can be purchased at electronics stores and 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 no matter what the time is – day or night – and can be programmed to warn for weather and civil emergencies in only your county. Some scanners, HAM radios, CB radios, short wave receivers, and AM/FM radios also are capable of receiving NOAA Weather Radio transmissions.
NOAA Weather Radio network has more than 750 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. Pacific Territories. In Montana, approximately 80 percent of the state’s residents are covered by various NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts.
NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA 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.
On the Web:
NOAA National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov
Weather Radio: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/index.html