Contact: James Reynolds and Marilu Trainor
NOAA News Releases 2003
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A new All Hazards NOAA Weather Radio receiver has been placed along northern California’s Interstate Highway 5 just north of Weed enabling travelers to have access to weather information anytime of the day. The receiver is a cooperative effort between the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service in Medford, Ore. and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) office in Redding.

The new receiver began broadcasts on September 5. NWS officials say travelers can now hear up-to-date weather forecasts while at the rest area, which will be helpful for those planning north-bound trips over the Siskiyou Summit near the California and Oregon state border, especially during winter. The broadcasts are a direct link from the NWS in Medford.

NOAA Weather Radio, known as “The Voice of the National Weather Service,” is a live 24-hour source of the latest weather forecasts and warnings. Travelers can obtain current weather conditions, as well as those expected within the next seven days by pushing a button that is mounted in a metal box located adjacent to a display board on the grounds of the site. Once the button is pressed, the broadcast plays for three minutes.

According to Roger Williams, meteorologist-in-charge of the Medford NWS office, “Completing the siting and installation of this receiver is a great success story for the state of California. Through partnership with the Caltrans, we were able to share the costs associated with the purchase and installation of this receiver. We are excited about what this means to travelers and are grateful to Redding DOT for their partnership to make this project a reality.”

In addition to the new receiver in the rest stop, area residents can also receive NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts via a transmitter located at Mount Ashland, Oregon on a frequency of 162.475 Mhz.

In April, the NWS in Medford contacted the Caltrans office in Redding about participating in a collaborative effort to make weather radio broadcast available to those traveling near the rest area. Caltrans officials were already considering ways to provide updated road conditions to northbound travelers and had designed a visual and audio platform to do this. Making NWS forecasts, watches and warnings available at the site, in addition to current road conditions, was highly desirable to Caltrans. Caltrans officials modified the design of their platform to accommodate the NOAA Weather Radio broadcast. The additional components needed to complete the project were purchased by the Medford NWS office and Caltrans employees completed the construction of the new platform.

“The Weed rest area is an ideal location for the broadcast because it serves a significant number of motorists heading over the Siskiyou Mountains” said Russ Wenham, chief, Caltrans Maintenance and Operations.”

“This Weed rest area receiver increases our ability to reach the travelers directly with vital weather watches and warnings. This area of northern California is subject to quickly changing weather conditions,” said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist James Reynolds. “People traveling north-bound from Weed can know about the weather conditions they’ll face and also know what weather to expect in the near-term. This will aid in people’s decisions to continue northward during snowstorms in the area or wait it out at the rest area.”

Williams added, “The system also serves as an all hazard warning system permitting the Weather Service to provide immediate, non-weather emergency information to those listening to the broadcasts. The NOAA Weather Radio network has over 825 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. Pacific Territories.”

The NOAA 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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