NOAA 03-R271
Contact: Marilu Trainor
NOAA News Releases 2003
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It’s just the kind of severe weather and hazards warning technology that William Randolph Hearst would have had at his castle on the rocky peak near the central California coast had it existed in his time. The famous retreat now has its own NOAA Weather Radio transmitter thanks to a cooperative effort by the Commerce Department’s NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service. The new transmitter gives residents living within the central coast area a direct link to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service (NOAA National Weather Service) forecasters.

A new NOAA weather radio transmitter was installed at Hearst Castle™, about two miles from San Simeon, and is now broadcasting local weather and emergency information from the Los Angeles NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office.

Meteorologist in Charge, Dan Keeton, said that the new weather radio will provide important weather updates to residents and mariners operating off central California’s shores. "Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service grant program, Hearst Castle was able to purchase and donate this transmitter to the NOAA National Weather Service. We are very excited about what this means to the community and are extremely grateful to Hearst Castle and the USDA for awarding the grant," Keeton said.

According to Vickie Nadolski, NOAA National Weather Service Western Region director, "This expansion significantly increases our ability to reach the central area coast of California directly with vital warnings. The Hearst Castle transmitter will help the residents, commercial and recreational mariners as well as visitors to this area to get the most current weather information via the weather radio.”

Nadolski added that the NOAA Weather Radio network has over 800 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. Pacific Territories.

NOAA National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tim McClung, added, “When you don’t have a regular radio or TV turned on, having a seven band NOAA Weather Radio with an alarm helps you protect your family, yourself and your property. Residents throughout the central coast of California, as well as mariners from Big Sur to Point Conception, can tune into dedicated service on 162.525 MHz. for the broadcasts.”

Hearst Castle and California State Parks officials said they are pleased to take part in providing this important emergency communications service to the public. The system allows more than one million visitors annually to the Hearst Castle area and those traveling California’s famed U.S. Route 1 to stay abreast of current weather conditions. The transmitter will also provide weather broadcasts that serve as a valuable safety aid to the boating community.

“It is an honor to partner with NOAA’s National Weather Service on this project to fill this void for the visitors and residents of the central coast,” said Director of Technology at Hearst Castle™ Tom Edick.

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 specific to a 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 and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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