The National Weather Service broadcasts warnings, watches and forecasts (as well as other hazard information) 24 hours a day.  Known as the "voice of the national weather service", NOAA Weather Radio is provided as a public service by the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).   We strongly recommend that every home be equipped with an alerting style NOAA Weather Radio.  The various features and functions are described below.




In Champaign County, NOAA Weather Radio is broadcast on the frequency of 162.550 MHz.  The FIPS codes required to program the NWR-SAME radio receivers are available HERE.  See below for more discussion on the new NWR-SAME receivers.

The NOAA Weather Radio network has more than 425 stations in the 50 states and near adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and U.S. Pacific Territories.

What's the weather?  Thanks to NoAA Weather Radio, you'll always have the answer to that question and access to potentially life-saving emergency information whenever you need it.  Click HERE To hear the current forecast for Champaign, Illinois.

What else to listen for:

Severe Thunderstorm Watch means severe thunderstorms are possible in your area.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning means a severe thunderstorm is imminent or has been indicated by Doppler radar or reported by storm spotters.

Tornado Watch means tornadoes are possible in your area.   Remain alert for approaching storms and be prepared to seek shelter.

Tornado Warning means a tornado is imminent or has been indicated by Doppler radar or reported by storm spotters.  Move to your predesignated place of safety immediately!

Flash Flood or Flood Watch means flash flooding or flooding is possible in your area.

Flash Flood or Flood Warning means flash flooding or flooding is occurring or is imminent.  Take necessary precautions immediately!

Winter Storm Watch means hazardous winter weather conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice are possible in your area.

Winter Storm Warning means hazardous winter weather conditions are forecast to occur within 12 hours or are about to begin in your area.   Stay indoors!

When you purchase a NOAA Weather Radio receiver, you are purchasing part of the National Weather Service network.  The network is constantly upgrading its technology to provide the best weather reporting service possible for the nation.

For less than the cost of a new pair of shoes, you can own a special weather radio that provides instant access to the same weather reports and emergency information that meteorologists and emergency personnel use --- information that can save your life!

Seconds save lives!  Weather radios equipped with a special alarm tone feature can sound an alert and give you immediate information about a life-threatening situation.  During an emergency, National Weather Service forecasters will interrupt routine weather radio programming and send out a special tone that activates weather radios in the listening area.  The hearing and visually impaired also can get these warnings by connecting weather radios with alarm tones to other kinds of attention-getting devices like strobe lights, pagers, bed-shakers, personal computers and text printers. 

Public safety experts agree:  the receivers should be standard equipment in every home.  They are especially valuable in places that are entrusted with public safety, including hospitals, schools, places of worship, nursing homes, restaurants, grocery stores, recreation centers, office buildings, sports facilities, theaters, retail stores, bus and train stations, airports, marinas and other public-gathering places.

Weather radios come in many sizes and with a variety of functions and costs.  Many of the radios sound a tone alarm and/or turn on the audio when severe weather announcements or emergency information are broadcast.  To make use of the new digital coding technology, more sophisticated weather radio receivers are now available.   New radios are available which feature NOAA Weather Radio Specific Area Message Encoding, or NWR-SAME, technology.  These radios can be programmed to alert only for a specific area.

Traditionally, severe weather announcements have used an analog tone of 1050 Hz to trigger alarms on special NOAA Weather Radio receivers.  However, this tone is used for any watch or warning within a 40 mile radius of the transmitter, resulting in receivers sounding an alarm for a storm that may be well away from the listener. In NWR-SAME coding, a digital message contains information on the type of watch or warning, counties affected, and valid time of the watch or warning. Using these codes, broadcast users can screen out severe weather alarms for areas that do not apply to them.

Most NOAA Weather Radio receivers are either battery-operated portables or AC-powered desktop models with battery backup so they can be used in many different situations.  Some CB radios, scanners, short wave and AM/FM radios are capable of receiving NOAA Weather Radio transmissions.  Many communities throughout the United States also make Weather Radio available on cable TV and broadcast television's secondary audio programming channels.