FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Pat Slattery
News Releases 2003
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800TH NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTER NOW BROADCASTING
When severe weather threatens, people in four counties in southeast Colorado and one in west-central Kansas can now stay on top of storm activity with a direct link to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters through the agency’s 800th weather warning transmitter. NOAA Weather Radio is a live, 24-hour source of weather forecasts and warnings broadcast directly from NWS offices. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The new transmitter was installed on a 400-foot county-owned tower between Lamar and Granada with the help of the Colorado Division of Telecommunications, and will provide critical weather information to residents of Prowers, Kiowa, Bent, and Baca counties in southeast Colorado, and Hamilton County, Kan. Information from the weather service’s Pueblo forecast office will be broadcast to the Colorado communities of Lamar, Granada, Holly, Eads and Springfield as well as Coolidge and Syracuse, Kan., according to Meteorologist in Charge William Fortune.
"This is a great success story for rural communities. Through funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service grant program, Prowers County Office of Emergency Management was able to purchase and donate this transmitter to the National Weather Service. We are very excited about what this means to area residents and are extremely grateful to Prowers County Office of Emergency Management and USDA.
"This expansion significantly increases our ability to reach the public directly with vital warnings. When you don’t have a radio or TV turned on, having a seven-band NOAA Weather Radio with an alarm helps you protect your family, yourself and your property,” Fortune said.
Fortune said residents in and around Prowers county could find the weather service broadcasts from the new transmitter (call sign KWN-60) at 162.525 MHz.
“NOAA Weather Radio allows the public to receive weather statements and warnings straight from the NOAA Weather Service forecaster saving several minutes or more,” Fortune said. “When you’re dealing with severe weather, seconds can save lives.”
The NOAA Weather Radio network has more than 800 stations, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. Pacific Territories and reaching out to 95% of the U.S. population.
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 emergency alerts for a specific county. Most NOAA Weather Radio receivers are either battery-operated portables or AC-powered desktop models with battery backup. Some scanners, HAM radios, CB radios, short wave receivers, and AM/FM radios also are capable of receiving NOAA Weather Radio transmissions. Weather radios can be purchased at many electronics stores.
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-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.
On the Internet:
NOAA National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov
Weather Radio: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr