Weather Radios For Dummies

Hi and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. Today I’m going to talk about Weather Radio for those of you who haven’t read my posts in the past.

First of all, I publish a newsletter every three months in: February, May, August and November. It is available by email subscription and I will give out the email at the end of this post.

Basically, Weather Radio is a VHF (Very High Frequency) service which is able to be heard on a lot of radios these days. In the past you needed a standalone WX receiver but now you can hear it in both Canada and the US on such receivers as: GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) radios, VHF marine radios, police scanners, emergency crank radios and many modern Ham Radio transceivers, among others.

Most units have an alert function which is used to warn us of any severe weather with a loud siren and the voice of the Weather Radio with the alert message. There are 2 types of alerts that are issued: a 1050 Hz tone alert for basic Weather Radios and SAME or Specific Area Message Encoding for more advanced and newer models. SAME’s function is to obviously locally alert us of impending dangerous weather and each city or county has their own SAME, FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) or CLC (Canadian Location Code) which you can program into your radio. This will allow you to only hear alerts for your local area and the codes are 6 digits and they usually begin with 0. For example: Toronto’s CLC Code is 043120. You can probably find your code on the internet or I can give it to you, if you decide to get your own WX radio.

Even better, some models allow you to only hear what alerts you want, so you can block alerts from sounding on you radio that don’t apply to you. However, some alerts such as severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings can not be blocked. You can usually find out what you can and can’t block in the owners manual!

If you would like to find out what model will be good for your needs just check some of my past posts during April and May of last year. I have spotlighted some models such as: Midland HH54VP, Midland W-R300 and Midland W-R120. There are other manufacturers that make them such as: Sangean, Reecom, Oregon Scientific and many others besides Midland.

Well, I hope this helps you in a search for a new kind of radio for your home and just be careful that some of the sirens may be a bit loud for some people. The Sangean CL-100 is quite good as a receiver on all bands but the alert siren is quite loud even at the lowest level. Good luck and I hope you stay weather safe. Oh, if you would like to join the mailing list for my newsletter just send me an email at


2 thoughts on “Weather Radios For Dummies

  1. Pingback: Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter Issue 15 | Weather Radio Listners Newsletter

  2. Pingback: Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter Issue 15 | Weather Radio Listners Newsletter

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