Weather Wednesday – This Is A Test

Hello and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. This week I will talk about something that may seem like an odd topic on the surface but it is really quite interesting if you think about it. The weekly test on Weather Radio throughout North America varies from both Canada and the US from state to state and from province to province. It has also changed from day to day over the years.
Many years ago, it used to be once a month on the first Monday of each month, with the 1050 Hz tone. When I would listen to Toronto XMJ225 on the TV I would try and catch it and I sometimes did, when I was home. At some point it switched to Wednesdays and it is how it is today, with both 1050 Hz tone and SAME. In the case of SAME it is done every week and the monthly test is also done on the first Wednesday every month near noon.
There was a time when watches and warnings would not allow the tone alert test to happen and I actually made a phone call about it and that is what I was told back in August of 2006, when this happened. Now this hasn’t happened since SAME became part of the weekly and monthly tests.
in the US it varies and some transmitters do the test on Tuesday evenings as apposed to Wednesday mornings. In their case they do postpone the test if severe weather is possible, until the next good weather day. I have actually heard this happened on Buffalo KEB98 a few times. It happened once when I was going through a major ailment during the Christmas holidays in 2011. It can be rather jarring when your Weather Radio goes off when you’re trying to sleep and you find out that it is only the weekly test on a Thursday.
There were some videos on Youtube of people and their receivers going off with a weekly test and that is how I have found out most of the information for this weeks post. There was even one called Weather Radio Madness, which had a whole bunch of tone alert radios and SAME alert radios going off at the same time. I have tried to make it happen to me and well, I have come close to it happening like that a few times with my scanner, my SAME Weather Radios and my Marine handheld transceiver all going off around the same time. I also find it interesting that owners manuals for Weather Radios say that the weekly test is done between 10:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M. every Wednesday, local time. All I can really say about that is hmmm!
One thing I would like to see is a National or a North America wide test of all Weather Radio transmitters on a certain date every year. If it happens this could possibly encourage those who have Weather Radios to keep them humming and to watch them for the flashing light, if they don’t give the audio for most tests. I don’t know but I would like it to happen in the next couple of years or so. There was a National EAS test on November 9th either 2011 or 2012 and I don’t know if it was broadcasted on NOAA Weather Radio or not. If it was I missed it on the Buffalo NY transmitter.
If you have any comments you can reply here or email me at and I will get back to you.
Also, for more weather stuff you can subscribe to my Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter mailing list by emailing me at and I will send you all the issues so far. You will also receive the next issue when it comes out.
Another blog you may want to follow alongside this one is from Phil Chadwick. He is a retired meteorologist from Environment Canada and his specialty was severe weather. Here is the url.
Check it out if you are a weather nut. He has stuff in there that I didn’t even know. Well, after all, he did work for Environment Canada for many years and he retired in 2011.


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