NOAA Weather Radio

I’m sure most everyone has seen or heard about weather radios. I bought one myself (although it went dead). It was very handy as it would automatically come on if there was a weather alert or bulletin, AMBER alert, or any other type of civil warning that is broadcast over NOAA.

Since my unit went dead, I went out to see if this broadcast was published online, and it turns out it is. There are stations for most major metropolitan areas, and they are broadcast in a few different formats (mostly in MP3) on various servers across the country. You can visit this link here to see all the cities listed and click on a link to listen:

I live in Dallas, so I used the following link: … FW.mp3.m3u

It broadcast the stream through IceCast (a ShoutCast based streaming server). I tested it in the following players:

Winamp 5.35
RealPlayer 10.5
Windows Media Player 11
VLC 0.8.6c

Did not work:
Quicktime 7.2
Media Player Classic
BSPLayer 2.12

Although I’m not suggesting that WW should include a built in media player, as that would add some extra bloat to the software that most people probably wouldn’t want, and there are already a bajillion media players out there, it would be cool to have a link somewhere in the interface to listen to the broadcast. Since WW automatically finds the whether based on the city or zip code you put in, it could do the same for the NOAA broadcasting station. A user could click on the link and it would automatically open in whatever player they had defined for that file type, or WW could have an option w/in the program for a user defined player for the broadcast.

I think it would be a worthwhile addition for a few reasons. First, NOAA broadcasts not only weather emergencies but normal weather conditions. It also gives the current forecast and extended forecast - as well as other important information such as:

  • Child Abduction Emergency (Amber Alert)
    * Immediate Evacuation Alert
    * Hazardous Material Warning
    * Local Area Emergency
    * Biological Hazard Warning
    * Civil Emergency Message
    * Contagious Disease Warning
    * Emergency Action Notification
    * Civil Danger Warning
    * Food Contamination Warning
    * Industrial Fire Warning
    * PowerPlant Warning
    * Special Marine Warning

More info:

This would also be beneficial to visual impaired users as they would be able to listen to weather announcements in WW w/o having to try and read the text.