There are multiple means of getting weather warnings

The Shreveport NWR transmitter, which is temporarily out of service, is not the only way to learn about potentially deadly storms

There are multiple means of getting weather warnings
During severe weather, a weather radio could save your life. But “we always recommend people have multiple ways of getting warnings in case one fails,” a National Weather Service spokesman said.
The National Weather Service suggests that you have multiple ways of getting warned about severe weather.
The National Weather Service suggests that you have multiple ways of getting warned about severe weather. (Source: NOAA)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — The National Weather Radio transmitter for Shreveport-based WXJ97 is out of service.

That means it is temporarily non-operational due to problems such as a power outage, antenna damage, etc.

In this case, the outage is because of a telephone line issue; and the Weather Service is waiting on AT&T to help fix the problem, said Mario Valverde, of the National Weather Service office in Shreveport.

As the “voice of the National Weather Service,” NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards continuously broadcasts weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office.

The nationwide network of radio stations broadcasts official National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

During an emergency, Weather Service forecasters interrupt routine National Weather Radio broadcasts and send a special tone that activates local weather radios. Weather radios equipped with a special alarm tone feature sound an alert to give you immediate information about a potentially life-threatening situation.

So with severe weather expected Friday, what are ArkLaTexans who rely on their weather radios to do?

“People should make a plan now of what they are going to do if a warning is issued for their area,” Valverde advised.

Here's how to enable wireless alerts
Here's how to enable wireless alerts (Source: National Weather Service)

“We always recommend people have multiple ways of getting warnings in case one fails.”

Those can include TV, mobile apps like the KSLA First Alert Weather app, AM-FM radio, internet, sirens and Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Valverde also suggested that people ensure their cellphones are charged and turned on.

“That way, they can get tornado warnings via Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) if they are in the warning area.”

With WEAs, warnings about tornadoes and flash flooding will still go to mobile phones and are not connected to weather radio transmitters.

Also, Valverde said, people who have a favorite weather app on their phone should ensure that it is up to date and that they know how it works.

And he suggested that people check the weather on TV or their computer before going to bed.

If Shreveport’s transmitter is out, Valverde said, some people may be able to pick up a signal from another nearby National Weather Radio transmitter.

The range for National Weather Radio reception typically is about 40 miles from the transmitter; however, many things affect reception, according to NOAA.

Other nearby transmitters and their frequencies include:

  • Center 162.525 MHz,
  • Gilmer 162.425 MHz,
  • Marietta 162.525 MHz,
  • Natchitoches 162.500 MHz, and,
  • Texarkana 162.550 MHz.

The frequency of the Shreveport transmitter — the one that’s experiencing the temporary outage — is 162.400 MHz.

Shreveport’s transmitter is among 18 in the country that are out of service at this time.

Another three transmitters have a degraded signal, meaning a temporary reduction in coverage area, the audio quality, etc.

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NOAA Weather Radio is a service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is under the umbrella of the U.S. Commerce Department.

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