Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New source of weather information available

NOAA all-hazards weather radio tower now graces Bald Mountain


This winter for the first time, local outdoorspeople, travelers and weather buffs can turn to a quick source for accurate, local weather information.

Transmitting timely weather information from the 9,151-foot summit of Bald Mountain is a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration all-hazards weather radio tower, Blaine County disaster services coordinator Chuck Turner announced earlier this week.

The project to establish a local presence for the popular NOAA weather radio system—which broadcasts continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office—was sponsored by the city of Ketchum, the Blaine County Emergency Communications department and Sun Valley Co., Turner said.

The all-hazards weather radio system broadcasts official NWS warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Anyone who owns a radio capable of picking up weather channels, a programmable scanner or a 162.550-megahertz VHF (very high frequency) radio will be able to receive the round-the-clock weather information and alerts. The all-hazards radio system also broadcasts other emergency information, such as Amber Alerts and natural disasters like earthquakes and avalanches.

Radios capable of picking up the all-hazards weather service are available at most electronic and hardware stores, Turner said. A more public rollout of the new weather alert system with National Weather Service officials in attendance will take place at the Blaine County Commission's Oct. 14 meeting in Hailey, he said.

The all-hazards weather system is provided as a public service by NOAA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The system includes about 1,000 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the U.S. Pacific Territories.

For additional information on the NOAA all-hazards weather radio system, log on to www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/.




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