The drama with the New York City NOAA Weather Radio channel has been playing out for years. But alas, there is a functioning transmitter in the city, and it lives atop the Empire State Building.

What You Need To Know

  • NOAA Weather Radio sends out life-saving weather information on a specific frequency

  • The NYC NOAA Weather Radio was powered down in 2013 after causing interference with the Coast Guard radio signal

  • A new transmitter finally has a home atop the Empire State Building

  • The signal covers the entire tri-state area and 18.5 million people

NOAA Weather radios aren’t as commonly used now as they once were. With the introduction of cell phones and new warning technologies, NOAA weather radios have been somewhat phased out.

You might even be asking yourself, what in the world is a NOAA Weather Radio? Well, it is a radio that can be tuned to a local broadcast channel set up by your local weather service office. The channel sends forecast updates and most importantly, severe weather warnings.

These were once considered one of the most crucial life-saving devices, especially for southern states and those in Tornado Alley.

The radio rings an alarm when a warning is issued. From a deep sleep, this could wake you up, giving you enough time to get you somewhere safe in the event of life-threatening weather.

For those that may not have great phone service at home, or when the power is out for long periods, a NOAA Weather Radio is still a life-saving gadget.

Let us go back to the drama. The transmitter that sends the signal to weather radios around the tri-state area was taken offline back in 2013. The broadcast was causing interference with radios used by the Coast Guard.

The coast guard was deemed a higher priority, so the NOAA signal was powered down. The transmitter went on and off over the years with attempts to find a solution that worked for all.

But finally, earlier this year, they powered the transmitter back up at its new home. This location avoids interference and is once again sending valuable weather information to weather radios around the city and beyond.

The home of the new transmitter is atop one of our city’s most iconic buildings, The Empire State Building. The national weather service installed two antennae that send stronger and better quality signals. They are mounted on the northwest and southwest corners of the Empire State Building on the 81st floor.

The signal is now sending weather information across a region that is home to 18.5 million people. Access to this signal with a NOAA Weather Radio is a great back-up tool in the case of an emergency where power could be out for long periods.

Of course, you can always get the latest weather information by watching NY1 or from our new Spectrum News App.