Weather Wednesday – Watchdog

Welcome to another Weather Wednesday. This week I will be discussing something very important about how Weatheradio Canada reacts when it goes down.
Usually when a radio station goes off the air, you just hear nothing but static and at the studio they would hear dead air. Weatheradio Canada is different in that when there is no new data after 3 hours it goes into watchdog mode.
Generally, what is supposed to happen is that after 3 hours of no new data an alert is sent out to all Weather Radio’s listening to the affected transmitter and a voice message in english and french says the following.
“We are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our broadcast. We will return to normal as soon as possible. We are sorry for the interuption.”
This was started because, in the past a stale forecast would play and this could potentially confuse people who aren’t paying full attention to what is being heard. This is why the new watchdog feature was started.
I first heard it in June 2010 late one night and it woke me up out of a great dream. I didn’t understand what it was until it was explained to me what had happened.
I have been keeping a close ear on Weatheradio Canada since then and I have tried to stop outages but it didn’t always happen.
Another way in which watchdog kicks in is when a data corruption problem arises and it lasts for about 12 or 13 hours. This has happened a few times and it is one of the more unusual reasons for an outage.
Well, that is all I have for this Weather Wednesday.

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