Hi and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. This week I’m going to talk about how Weather Radio is continuing to evolve, whether we notice it or not.
If you think that Weather Radio is standing still and just cruising along, that is far from the truth. It is largely dictated by the Federal Governments of both Canada and the United States in that they have a say in what content goes out over the air.
For example: in 2002 in Canada, the Federal Government made it law for everything to be in both official languages in Canada, english and french. This included Weatheradio Canada and it made some people unhappy because when they turn on their Weather Alert Radios they seem to catch the french translation, while they are waiting for the forecast in english. I have had to deal with this and people have suggested that their should be an english VHF frequency and a french VHF frequency, for Weatheradio Canada’s current transmitters. I’m not so sure that is possible because of how many channels a Weather Alert Radio has. In case you don’t know, both NOAA Weather Radio and Weatheradio Canada braudcast on 7 channels and Marine Radios have 10 weather channels, including the 7 NOAA/ Weatheradio Canada channels and 3 marine weather channels. I have discussed this in past entries if you would like more on this.
The evolution of both Weatheradio Canada and NOAA Weather Radio is mainly in the new stations that are coming up in certain area’s of both countries. For a long time in Canada, Weatheradio Canada has only used 3 channels or frequencies: 162.550, 162.400 and 162.475 MHz, which are WX Channels 1 2 and 3 respectively. The other 4 frequencies: 162.425, 162.450, 162.500 and 162.525 MHz. have been used for new stations in recent years. However, there are not as many stations going on air as quick as it could be. There are new stations planned but not much has been done as far as finding a transmitter site, dew to various factors. Once again, check out some of my earlier posts for more on this and my speaking engagement in Minden Ontario in 2012.
As for NOAA Weather Radio, they have used all 7 channels for a while and there are more stations going on the air every so often. I haven’t counted all the stations that both Weatheradio Canada and NOAA Weather Radio have on air combined, but I would imagine it is about 1320 transmitters humming throughout North America.
The one thing that hasn’t changed much in the last 18 years is the sound of both Weatheradio Canada and NOAA Weather Radio. In Canada the only major change was adding french to the broadcast cycle. SAME has been on Weatheradio Canada since 2006 and fully implimented in 2007. Before 1996 people recorded the information that went out on the air and it was much more detailed than it is now. Hopefully the new AVIPAD’s 2 will fix that issue.
NOAA Weather Radio has also become computerized as far as the voice goes. However, they have had no real problems that I have noticed in giving out detailed weather information in every part of the cycle. However, I have heard that there will be new voices coming in the future.
In closing, Weather Radio is evolving but it is so slow we may miss it.
If you have any comments you can reply here or email me at email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Well, that’s it for today’s blog post. Talk to you on Sunday.