Weather radio features

Severe weather is no joke. A radio that will warn you of impending dangerous weather can be very handy. NOAA provides SAME encoding on their weather stations to allow radios to automatically detect when they transmit alerts, warnings, or watches. The problem is that the coverage of these weather stations in the Great Basin area is rather weak. Here is the NOAA coverage map for Nevada.

There are some features to look for if you plan on adding a weather radio to your RV inventory. Most of these radios have battery backup so the question is whether they will run off internal batteries or your RV battery system, and for how long. The ability to use an external antenna will allow you to get better reception than you’d get with an antenna trapped within the walls of your RV.

For SAME decoding, the features to consider involve how difficult it is to customize the radio. How does it set the county code so you can have the radio alert you only when something is happening near where you happen to be? Can you set the radio to alert you only for certain levels of urgency (watch, warning, alert) and only for specific weather hazards?

You should also think about what you should do in a weather emergency. Determine whether it is better to stay inside the RV or to seek shelter. In tornado country, you should always be aware of a place to go that will shelter you from the tornado. It is usually not the best idea to try to outrun weather but you can plan in advance and avoid areas where severe weather is predicted.

In the Great Basin area, winds are perhaps the most common weather hazard. Flash floods are also possible. A hot spell can be a safety hazard to balance out the winter storms on occasion. Severe weather is a risk and you can minimize the risk by being aware of the weather before you head out and monitoring the weather radio if reception is available where you are camping.

Comments are closed.