Contact: Delores Clark, (808) 532-6411
Nezette Rydell, (808) 973-5275
IMPROVED NOAA WEATHER RADIO BROADCASTS AVAILABLE FOR BIG ISLAND AND ADJACENT COASTAL WATERS
NOAA today announced significant improvements to the NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards broadcast in Hawaii County. Big Island residents, visitors and mariners are now receiving weather information specifically tailored to their needs. Improvements were made to the service by NOAA's National Weather Service Forecast Office (WFO) in Honolulu, which operates the radio service. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
"As part of our commitment to improve services for the people of Hawaii, WFO Honolulu changed the NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards format to provide the public with more detailed information about current conditions and forecasts for the Big Island," said Jim Weyman, meteorologist in charge of WFO Honolulu. "We are providing weather and precipitation forecasts for specific areas, hourly wind speed and temperature data from all observation sites on the Big Island and higher resolution coastal waters forecasts."
Broadcasting comprehensive weather and hazard information 24 hours a day and operating at a frequency of 162.55 Megahertz (MHz), NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards station WWG76 broadcasts from transmitters on Kulani Cone and South Point, providing tailored weather information for the Big Island and coastal waters out to 40 nautical miles.
Another important change is that only severe weather watches and warnings for the Big Island will be heard on this new broadcast.
"Flash flood warnings for the other islands will not play on these transmitters nor initiate an alarm tone," said Weyman, referring to the special area message encoding feature that allows certain radio receivers to turn on automatically and be programmed to sound an alarm when a warning is issued for a specific area or county.
The NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards Network has more than 900 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and U.S. Pacific Territories. In addition to the Big Island transmitters in the State of Hawaii, programming is broadcast over NWR station KBA 99 on a frequency of 162.55 MHz from transmitters at Hawaii Kai and Mount Ka`ala on the Island of Oahu, Mount Haleakala on Maui and Kokee on Kauai.
"NOAA Weather Radio is one of the best ways Hawaii residents can receive the most up-to-the-minute weather forecasts and warnings, as well as other hazard alerts," said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "The expanded capability of the service to Big Island residents is ever more important given the dynamic nature of the ocean and atmosphere that surrounds Hawaii."
A recently signed agreement between NOAA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security now utilizes NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards as an all-hazards communications system. In addition to news about flash floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanic activity and tsunami warnings broadcast by the National Weather Service, Homeland Security and State Civil Defense will be able to send critical all-hazards alerts and warnings concerning civil emergencies, chemical spills, bio-hazardous releases and Amber or Maile alerts via the network.
"This new all-hazards feature of NOAA Weather Radio has a tremendous potential for alerting people to hazards and giving them the information and instructions to protect their lives," said Ed Teixeira, vice director of Civil Defense. "In these unsettled times, reliable communications networks such as NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards are an absolute necessity."
NOAA Weather Radios come in many sizes with a variety of functions and costs. Most NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards 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 - and some televisions - are capable of receiving NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards transmissions. Special populations such as the disabled or the elderly can connect NOAA Weather Radios via plug-ins to attention getting devices such as strobe lights, pagers, bed shakers, personal computers and text printers. NOAA Weather Radios can be purchased at many electronics stores.
NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA's 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.