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Weather Radios / bad thunderstorms
Old 06-17-2019, 06:24 PM   #1
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Weather Radios / bad thunderstorms

A few months ago I was with one of our volunteer fireman and he told us to get a good weather radio . Our TV, internet are both satellite and our phones go bad when a storm comes up . I bought a weather radio a couple weeks ago and last night it was right on . Somehow the reception worked and identified exactly where the thunderstorms were . .
Our little area had major straight line winds , lots of trees got knocked over . Our Texas Department of Transportation did not show up till 8:00 Am . By then we had the roads open again , talked to the mail lady at 11:00 Am and she still had no power . Hate the winds out here in the stix .
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:58 PM   #2
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We didn't need any weather radio to tell us we got 3 1/2 inches of rain yesterday and last night. We are soggy down here in Houston.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:00 PM   #3
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A few months ago I was with one of our volunteer fireman and he told us to get a good weather radio . Our TV, internet are both satellite and our phones go bad when a storm comes up . I bought a weather radio a couple weeks ago and last night it was right on . Somehow the reception worked and identified exactly where the thunderstorms were . .
Our little area had major straight line winds , lots of trees got knocked over . Our Texas Department of Transportation did not show up till 8:00 Am . By then we had the roads open again , talked to the mail lady at 11:00 Am and she still had no power . Hate the winds out here in the stix .
So glad you are OK! Storms can come up fast in Texas and can be pretty destructive sometimes. As you well know, of course.

I agree with the volunteer fireman, and think having a good weather radio is a "must" in your area and mine. When I was working, the guy in the next cubicle had one so I got my info from him, while at work. But now that I am retired it's nice to have my own. About five years ago I got this one from Amazon, and it inspired me to start the Amazon thread. I especially like that if/when the power goes out, it has a brilliant huge LED flashlight that goes on so I can use that to see my way around. It's now unavailable but I think that is because better, cheaper weather radios are probably available now that weren't back then.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:13 PM   #4
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About five years ago I got this one from Amazon, and it inspired me to start the Amazon thread. I especially like that if/when the power goes out, it has a brilliant huge LED flashlight that goes on so I can use that to see my way around. It's now unavailable but I think that is because better, cheaper weather radios are probably available now that weren't back then.

Not sure what you paid for it W2R. Amazon shows this one $18.39 as a more recent model (as one of its features, it charges smart phones, too.)

https://www.amazon.com/Ambient-Weath..._ob_title_home

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Old 06-17-2019, 09:17 PM   #5
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[...]It's now unavailable but I think that is because better, cheaper weather radios are probably available now that weren't back then.
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Not sure what you paid for it W2R. Amazon shows this one $18.39 as a more recent model (as one of its features, it charges smart phones, too.)

https://www.amazon.com/Ambient-Weath..._ob_title_home

omni
Right! I saw that one a month or two ago and you are right, it is a better, cheaper weather radio, an updated model from the same company that made mine a few years ago. Time passes, technology improves... Meanwhile I like my weather radio enough that I have no intention of replacing it. What one do YOU use?
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:56 AM   #6
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The newest weather radios can focus the warnings to your exact area. In the past, whole counties would be notified, which was a pain if you lived in a big county.

The best weather radios have setting to squelch certain events such as Watches, or Flood events. If you live on a high spot in your county, you may not care to be woken at 2AM for a flood warning. We care to never be woken for watches.

They are good. Even with all the phone stuff, they are still a necessity if you ask me.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:11 AM   #7
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The newest weather radios can focus the warnings to your exact area. In the past, whole counties would be notified, which was a pain if you lived in a big county.

The best weather radios have setting to squelch certain events such as Watches, or Flood events. If you live on a high spot in your county, you may not care to be woken at 2AM for a flood warning. We care to never be woken for watches.

They are good. Even with all the phone stuff, they are still a necessity if you ask me.
Can you point to one that has this ability so I can research it further? I have a weather radio, but I gave up on it because of too many alarms. It did have SAME technology, but even with that, too many alarms that really didn’t affect me.

I have this one:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/alert-wor...CABEgI1SfD_BwE
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Breedlove View Post
A few months ago I was with one of our volunteer fireman and he told us to get a good weather radio . Our TV, internet are both satellite and our phones go bad when a storm comes up . I bought a weather radio a couple weeks ago and last night it was right on . Somehow the reception worked and identified exactly where the thunderstorms were . .
Our little area had major straight line winds , lots of trees got knocked over . Our Texas Department of Transportation did not show up till 8:00 Am . By then we had the roads open again , talked to the mail lady at 11:00 Am and she still had no power . Hate the winds out here in the stix .
We really relied on our weather radios when we were living in the RV and traveling all over the US. It helped us seek shelter when needed. The RV holds up very well to a bad hailstorm, but it's so loud in the RV it's better to seek shelter in a nearby bathroom building.

We don't use them so much now because we live in an area of quite low occurrences of severe weather. Hurricanes the most likely, but those are noted well in advance of arrival.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:45 AM   #9
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We didn't need any weather radio to tell us we got 3 1/2 inches of rain yesterday and last night. We are soggy down here in Houston.
But what about the tornado warning? Not much help after it occurs.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:04 AM   #10
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About 4 weeks ago, had golf ball sized hail during the night. Our roof slightly damaged. The next morning I took my dog for a walk and my neighbors down the street told me there's a war zone 2 blocks away. Walked there with dog and a shocking site! Huge trees ripped out by the roots, trees laying on totaled cars and blocking the road.

A mini tornado dropped down in approx. 4 block radius. Our street looked pretty normal and streets around that radius, normal. It hit at @ 1:30 a.m. The neighbors who were hit said, no warning and it took a few seconds then gone. Hit like a freight train, boom then gone.


Yesterday, city trucks still working on sidewalks, split oak trees and damaged yards.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:13 AM   #11
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The newest weather radios can focus the warnings to your exact area. In the past, whole counties would be notified, which was a pain if you lived in a big county.

The best weather radios have setting to squelch certain events such as Watches, or Flood events. If you live on a high spot in your county, you may not care to be woken at 2AM for a flood warning. We care to never be woken for watches.

They are good. Even with all the phone stuff, they are still a necessity if you ask me.

What model do you use and/or what model do you recommend?
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:46 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post
The newest weather radios can focus the warnings to your exact area. In the past, whole counties would be notified, which was a pain if you lived in a big county.

The best weather radios have setting to squelch certain events such as Watches, or Flood events. If you live on a high spot in your county, you may not care to be woken at 2AM for a flood warning. We care to never be woken for watches.

They are good. Even with all the phone stuff, they are still a necessity if you ask me.
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Can you point to one that has this ability so I can research it further? I have a weather radio, but I gave up on it because of too many alarms. It did have SAME technology, but even with that, too many alarms that really didn’t affect me.
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What model do you use and/or what model do you recommend?
We live in the heart of tornado alley and have had at least 4 tornadoes within 5 miles of us this year SO FAR; the closest of which happened to occur at 4:30 in the AM and was about 2 miles to our south. In a high risk area, having multiple sources of weather alerts is important but a good battery backup radio is the primary source for us and is as important as a smoke detector. This radio had us up and in the shelter in less than 60 seconds for the 4:30 am tornado; I highly, HIGHLY recommend this one:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It has the SAME technology that "pinpoints" your location and you can customize the alerts (as Joe mentioned in the above quote) and it costs less than $30.

If the weather is bad during the day, my office turns into the "Weather Center"
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:35 AM   #13
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Right! I saw that one a month or two ago and you are right, it is a better, cheaper weather radio, an updated model from the same company that made mine a few years ago. Time passes, technology improves... Meanwhile I like my weather radio enough that I have no intention of replacing it. What one do YOU use?
W2R,

I've never had a weather radio as I've lived in areas not so prone to severe weather (at least for the months when I am there).

However, I did get several audible weather alerts on my smart phone which awakened me in the early morning hours for the atypical tornadoes that hit SWFL in January a few years ago.

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Old 06-18-2019, 09:47 AM   #14
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W2R,

I've never had a weather radio as I've lived in areas not so prone to severe weather (at least for the months when I am there).

However, I did get several audible weather alerts on my smart phone which awakened me in the early morning hours for the atypical tornadoes that hit SWFL in January a few years ago.

omni
Those smart phone weather alerts are so LOUD! I guess they are helpful but so annoying as well. I don't know of any way to shut them off, though. We were awakened by several of them in the past month. I like having the weather radio too, though, for keeping track of the weather event after my phone awakens me (especially if the electricity is out and I am sitting in the dark).
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:01 AM   #15
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No internet or TV at my camp. I use a fairly old Bearcat scanner wich has weather frequencies. I use it once or twice a day when there.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:06 AM   #16
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Those smart phone weather alerts are so LOUD! I guess they are helpful but so annoying as well. I don't know of any way to shut them off, though. We were awakened by several of them in the past month. I like having the weather radio too, though, for keeping track of the weather event after my phone awakens me (especially if the electricity is out and I am sitting in the dark).
I would not trust the alerts on your phone when it comes to deadly storms. My phone (and DW's) alerts at least 60 seconds after the weather radio alert goes off. A recent tornado in El Reno, OK was warned about 3 minutes before it killed several people because of the nature of the quick spin up. 3 minutes is NOT a lot of time in the first place and I do NOT want to give up a 1/3rd of that time waiting for my phone to go off.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:16 AM   #17
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I find WX radios while traveling to be next to worthless. The messages all state "County X" but when I'm on the interstate or some backroad I have no idea which county I'm in, how close I am to county X, and whether I'm heading towards it or away from it.

For pre-storm tracking I just use Raindar on my phone. Lets me see exactly where the weather is and where it is moving.

The best setup I ever had was XM Satellite WX linked into the GPS on my Goldwing. I'd get a "precipitation in the area" alert in my helmet and the weather RADAR loop would overlay on the GPS built into the bike. From there I could see how to get out of it either by parking or taking an alternate route. Of course Garmin quit making a compatible GPS unless you pay big $ for aviation models and those are worthless for road routes.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:57 AM   #18
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Can you point to one that has this ability so I can research it further? I have a weather radio, but I gave up on it because of too many alarms. It did have SAME technology, but even with that, too many alarms that really didnít affect me.E
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What model do you use and/or what model do you recommend?
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It has the SAME technology that "pinpoints" your location and you can customize the alerts (as Joe mentioned in the above quote) and it costs less than $30.
Well, turns out I conflated and bollixed up SAME along with the technology the phones use. My bad.

SAME gets you your county. So, many severe weather stations broadcast to multiple counties and give warnings for multiple counties. The SAME system helps limit it just to your county. But you still are stuck with the "big county problem."

The warning that comes on your phone is more pinpoint since it has location services, and the weather office is now issuing warnings bounded by areas other than counties. The phones get that info.

So, sorry for the misinformation.

However, I would not recommend only relying on your phone! Use the best of both. They work together with the radio being an excellent backup. We also turn off phones at night so the WX radio is good for overnight.

As for a model... Well, what helped us with the false warnings was any model that allowed you to program out a lot of the stuff you don't want. For example, the Midland WR400. Cheaper Midlands or other brands typically don't have it. You have to go up the scale a bit.

You can't filter out Nuke warnings, Civil Emergency warnings or even Tornado warnings. But you can filter out Flood warnings -- which is the most common annoyance warning we get at 2AM. It is important for people near the creek, but not us. You can also filter out watches, another common annoyance.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:06 AM   #19
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As for a model... Well, what helped us with the false warnings was any model that allowed you to program out a lot of the stuff you don't want. For example, the Midland WR400. Cheaper Midlands or other brands typically don't have it. You have to go up the scale a bit.
The $30 version I posted has the ability to disable the alerts (except the ones you mentioned) as well.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:09 AM   #20
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The $30 version I posted has the ability to disable the alerts (except the ones you mentioned) as well.
Cool! You NEED this! Seriously, turn off the noise.
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