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NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards

NOAA Weather Radio
. . . the voice of the National Weather Service

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day. Known as the "voice of the National Weather Service," NWR is provided as a public service by the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


This site offers detailed information on Warning Alarm Policies, including alarm tests. Weather radios equipped with a special alarm tone feature can sound an alert and give you immediate information about a life-threatening situation. During an emergency, NWS forecasters will send out a special tone to activate weather radios in the listening area. The hearing- and visually impaired can get these warnings by connecting weather radios with alarm tones or other such as strobe lights, pagers, bed-shakers, personal computers and text printers.

What's the Weather?

Thanks to NWR, you'll always have the answer as well as access to potentially life-saving emergency information whenever you need it. When you purchase a NWR receiver, you are purchasing part of the National Weather Service network. The network is constantly upgrading its technology to provide the best weather reporting service possible for the nation. For less than the cost of a new pair of shoes, you can own a weather radio that provides instant access to the same weather reports and emergency information that meteorologists and emergency personnel use information that can save your life!

"All Hazards" Capabilities

NWR now broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards both natural, such as earthquakes and volcanic activity, and technological, such as chemical releases or oil spills. Working with other Federal agencies and the Federal Communications Commission's Emergency Alert System, NWR is an "all hazards" radio network, making it your single source for the most comprehensive weather and emergency information available to the public.

Who Needs NWR?

Public safety experts agree: the receivers should be standard equipment in every home. They are especially valuable in places that are entrusted with public safety, such as hospitals, schools, places of worship, nursing homes, restaurants, grocery stores, recreation centers, office buildings, sports facilities, theaters, retail stores, bus and train stations, airports, marinas and other public-gathering places.

Where Can I Purchase NWR?

Check with stores that sell electronics or call the National Weather Service office closest to you. See also NWR receiver information.

NOAA Weather Radio...Improving For the Future

New NWR transmitters will continue to expand the nationwide network coverage to more rural areas. With new digital technology, called Specific Area Message Encoding, life-saving messages broadcast on NWR are now be targeted to a specific area, such as a county or portion of a state, to bring more hazard-specific information to the listening area. New digital technology provides automated broadcast capability for more timely service. Digital technology also allows messages to be automatically received by all the communications industries of the information superhighway (broadcast, cable, satellites and other media) through the Federal Communications Commission's Emergency Alert System.

Receivers to Fit Different Needs

Weather radios come in many sizes and with a variety of functions and costs. Many of the radios sound a tone alarm and/or turn on the audio when severe weather announcements or emergency information are broadcast. To make use of the new digital coding technology, more sophisticated weather radio receivers will be required. Most NWR receivers are either battery-operated portables or AC-powered desktop models with battery backup. Some CB radios, scanners, short wave and AM/FM radios are capable of receiving NWR transmissions. See NWR receiver information for links to NWR manufacturers. Many communities throughout the United States also make Weather Radio available on cable TV and broadcast television's secondary audio programming channels.

Expansion through Partnership

The goal of the National Weather Service and other emergency preparedness agencies is to expand the reach of NWR to 95 percent of the U.S. population. Innovative partnerships between the Weather Service, private sector organizations and state and local governments are fueling this expansion. For more information about developing a partnership with the National Weather Service, contact your local Weather Service office.

Up-to-the-Minute Weather Reports and Much More

NWR is not just for emergencies. It is a round-the-clock source of weather reports and information to help you prepare for the day ahead. Each National Weather Service office tailors its broadcast to suit local needs. Routine programming is repeated every few minutes and consists of the local forecast, regional conditions and marine forecasts (where appropriate). Additional information, including river stages and climatic data, is also provided. During emergencies, routine broadcasts are interrupted for warnings, watches and other critical information.

NWR is the perfect complement to local radio and TV weather news, as well as Emergency Managers Weather Information Network, the Internet and other sources of weather information.
NWR receiver logo

  • At Home: Be warned of approaching storms so you can seek shelter before the storm arrives!
  • At Work: You can listen to the broadcast no matter where your workplace may be.
  • While Traveling: Available to travelers on highways and at rest areas across the nation.
  • At Play: Include a Weather Radio along with sports equipment when inclement weather is possible.
  • While Boating or Camping: Available in many coastal and wilderness areas and in campgrounds and state parks.