20 June 2011

NOAA Weather Radio Station KDO-89 Returns

The National Weather Service St. Louis NOAA Weather radio station KDO-89 has returned to the airwaves to serve the metropolitan area after an absence of about 22 hours. The National Weather Service office is reporting: "THE PROBLEM WAS TRACED TO A LIGHTNING STRIKE THAT DAMAGED THE TELEPHONE CIRCUIT THAT PROVIDES THE AUDIO SIGNAL TO THE TRANSMITTER."

The radio station transmits from a tower in Shrewsbury on 162.550 megahertz. Early on Saturday KDO-89 had been knocked off the air and was off during a series of storms that powered across the metropolitan area when tornado warnings and severe thunderstor warnings were issued leaving many in the public without warnings at daybreak on a weekend when many were simply "sleeping in" and unaware of the storms. Service on Saturday was restored after about 5 hours. Sunday's outage of 22 hours began when a separate round of early morning storms arrived.

Storm spotters and storm chasers suggest that the public find alternate ways of receiving their severe weather information for times such as St. Louis experienced with the outage of KDO-89. Technology, many of these people say, has advanced to the point that "smart phones" can receive notifications from a variety of sources when severe weather events occur. When soliciting comments from one group of weather watchers for this story one of the main suggestions of how to deal with a possible weather safety issue was simply to be informed at all times when there is a chance for severe weather - that would include being fully informed prior to retiring for sleep. Although that is not the most practical answer received, it makes sense to be more self-reliant and seek every possible source to remain informed in case of a severe weather event.

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