Thursday, October 3, 2013

NOAA Weather Radio in the Summer of 2013

There aren't many of us that have tried NOAA Weather Radio's pretty much the same as FM DX. You can also use either horizontally or vertically polarized antennas to pick this DX up. This summer could have been better, but I was satisfied with the results.

The opening of May 19 started with a new station logged on 162.500 MHz: WWH37 Clarksville, TN. I noted a weather forecast for the Clarksville/Fort Campbell area and weather conditions for the area. It was too bad I didn't record this station, because it would soon fade to the regular on that frequency, KXI46 Shelbyville, IL. WWH37 would turn out to be the 110th NOAA Weather Radio station logged at my location since I began keeping a log in January 2001. Two days later, I had an early morning opening to western Missouri; one of the stations I recorded was KZZ30 162.475 El Dorado Springs, MO. During the summer months, through constant monitoring of these frequencies, I listed the most frequently logged stations on each frequency (excluding my local KDO89 162.550 St. Louis, MO) below:

162.400: WXL45 Columbia, MO (105 miles)
162.425: KXI79 Hillsboro, IL (55 miles), WXM49 Marion, IL (100 miles)
162.450: KXI70 Jerseyville, IL (25 miles), WNG728 Bellflower, MO (65 miles)
162.475: KXI49 Salem, IL (85 miles)
162.500: KXI46 Shelbyville, IL (110 miles)
162.525: WWF75 Bourbon, MO (65 miles), WXM90 Jacksonville, IL (70 miles)

During 2011 and 2012, the dominant on 162.400 was WXK72 Putnamville, IN (190 miles from my listening post). During 2009 and 2010, it was KXI52 McLeansboro, IL (100 miles). On 162.425, I also frequently pulled in KWN55 Jamestown, MO (115 miles). On 162.475, I would also frequently note WWF76 Summersville, MO (130 miles). On 162.500, I would also frequently note WNG648 Dixon, MO (110 miles). Unlike with recent DX seasons, I did not have a directional yagi to use this season, due to the damage from the April 10 tornado.

In June, I stumbled on an opening on the FM dial toward the Quad Cities on June 23, and pulled in WXL64 162.400 Dubuque, IA. While the transmitter is in Wisconsin, I count this in my Iowa totals based on the city of license. On June 28, I recorded a station taking out both KXI70 and WNG728 on 162.450: KXI48 Newton, IL. Unlike the Jerseyville and Bellflower stations, which are programmed from the Weldon Spring office, KXI48's programming comes from the National Weather Service office in Lincoln, IL. I mainly logged new FM stations during the month of July, but I did manage to record a station taking out KXI79 on 162.425 on the evening of July 20: WXM49 Marion, IL. In fact, when I got my first handheld scanner in December 2000, I was hearing this station...this was before KXI79 came on the air.

August and September were the big months for recording NOAA Weather Radio DX at my location. August 4-5 brought a tropo opening into the of the stations I recorded on this one is the only NOAA Weather Radio station I've logged from Mississippi, KIH53 162.400 Booneville. Another opening toward western Missouri on August 9 brought in one of my most frequently-heard NOAA Weather Radio stations from that part of the state, KZZ39 162.500 Clinton, which serves Sedalia, Knob Noster and Whiteman Air Force Base. The tropo really picked up at the end of the month of August; on August 30, I recorded WXN85 162.400 Fairfield, IA and even a close-in station, WXJ92 162.500 Macomb, IL. September began with recordings of WXL61 162.475 Cedar Rapids, IAKZZ57 162.475 Rockford, IL on September 1. I was amazed that the tropo continued past Labor Day, pulling in KIH20 162.400 Huntsville, AL on September 5, WWF44 162.500 Henagar, AL, a city of license change from Fort Payne, on September 6, and WWG83 162.500 Edwardsport, IN and KIH43 162.475 Louisville, KY on September 8. I also noted a new station on September 8: WWG73 162.525 Seymour, IN. It was in for only a few minutes before fading into a mix of WXM90, WWF75 and WXJ91.

2013 will go down as not as good of a season on NOAA Weather Radio than 2012; I only noted three new stations this season (including a city of license change), versus nine new stations in 2012. As of October 1, 2013, my NOAA Weather Radio totals stand at 112 stations from 20 states.