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Date/Time: 09/27/2020 02:25PM
Weather alert apps

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Previous Messages:
Author Message Text
gotwins 07/13/2020 08:50PM
I bought a new NOAA radio last month for our trip to Alton last week. It was excellent. I could pull in 3-4 of the WX stations depending on how I had the whip antenna positioned. When severe weather was in the area, the broadcast called out specific lakes in the BWCA, for example, we heard one for Thomas and Fraser lake. I was also able to pull in MPR from Ely as well as WCCO after sunset just for fun. The radio also has the “alert function” that you can set for the overnight hours.


The radio is the Sangean DT-400W.
Jaywalker 07/13/2020 03:27PM
tonyyarusso: "4keys: "When using the alert, what kind of area does it cover?"
It depends on the radio you get and how you set it up. The old way (that a lot still use) is to get every alert that is applicable to the station's broadcast coverage area. The new way with "SAME codes" breaks it down to county-based areas (some counties have one code, while larger counties are subdivided into multiple codes). You can see the list of broadcast stations along with the codes on the NWS web site, and click individual transmitters for coverage area maps."

This is really a really helpful link and info, Tony. I'm going to re-state what I think I am learning from this because I want to understand it - but hope you or anyone else will jump in and correct me if I mis-state something.


First, my little CCPocket (about $60 at REI) does not have SAME programable functions. There seems to be 4 stations that cover most of the BWCA - Elephant Lake, Ely, Gunflint, and GM. Looking at the map for Ely KXI44 (below), I'm confused on how to read the info. I've ticked the "Alerting Area" option on the right and it shows the whole of both St. Louis and Lake Counties. Yet on the bottom right, "Counties Receiving Alert Tones" it shows some SAME codes but looks like its specifying Northern Lake and Northeast St. Louis Counties. So if I'm camped up on Oyster Lake off the Echo Trail, will my alarm go off for severe weather anywhere in St. Louis County (like in Duluth), or will it only go off if the severe weather is forecast for Northeast St. Louis County??
tonyyarusso 07/13/2020 11:35AM
4keys: "When using the alert, what kind of area does it cover?"
It depends on the radio you get and how you set it up. The old way (that a lot still use) is to get every alert that is applicable to the station's broadcast coverage area. The new way with "SAME codes" breaks it down to county-based areas (some counties have one code, while larger counties are subdivided into multiple codes). You can see the list of broadcast stations along with the codes on the NWS web site, and click individual transmitters for coverage area maps.
Northwoodsman 07/12/2020 09:29AM
A NOAA radio is the way to go. Relatively inexpensive, small, with a good battery life. If the weather looks okay I leave mine off during the day but always have it on at night and during the day if the sky starts to darken. I use my In-Reach for forecasts because it's on demand.


C.Crane makes a good one, as does Sangean and Midland. I would stay away from the hand-crank models.
scramble4a5 07/11/2020 08:15PM
tonyyarusso: "A NOAA weather radio would be far more useful for this sort of thing."


Agree with this.
4keys 07/11/2020 08:02PM
Glad you mentioned knowing the counties. I'll have to make notes on my maps. We're heading in Friday.
Jaywalker 07/11/2020 01:26PM
4keys: When using the alert, what kind of area does it cover? I know the regular weather report cycles through everything ( different cities, Great Lakes etc) and I don't really want to be woken up for alerts that are not going to affect me. I have enough trouble sleeping as it is. I suppose it might depend on which station is closest.
"

That is a good question, and I wish I had a better answer than I do. I know the broadcast comes from Ely when I am on that side, but I am not sure how location specific the alert is or how its done. I'd be glad if someone else could provide more detail. All I can say is the two times it woke me up, I was glad it did. The first time I was on Upper Pauness, and I remember it naming lakes that were going to get hit and estimated times; Crane, Echo, Jeanette - it was coming right at me. The second time was on Oyster, and I was still glad it woke me up because I did get a storm, but the worst of it was over by Fraser & Sawbill.
I'd rather have the radio wake me up than the storm, and both were strong enough to do that.

That reminds me of one thing - for anyone using one up there, it helps to know what county you are paddling in and what section of it as well as surrounding areas. My regular BWCA maps do not list counties. When I heard watches being issued earlier in the days for Itasca, Koochaching, northeast St Louis county, etc, I found myself wishing my county geography was a little better.
4keys 07/11/2020 12:50PM
Jaywalker: "tonyyarusso: "A NOAA weather radio would be far more useful for this sort of thing." I agree. The NOAA radio can be set on “alert” mode for overnight and it will wake you up if an alert is issued. Basically the radio turns itself on and you wake up hearing the message of what’s happening where. On my first trip with one two years ago it woke me up 2 out of 9 nights warning of very strong storms. It was nice to have 20 minutes warning to lower and reinforce my tarp and tent, get my clothes on, etc, basically get ready.
"



When using the alert, what kind of area does it cover? I know the regular weather report cycles through everything ( different cities, Great Lakes etc) and I don't really want to be woken up for alerts that are not going to affect me. I have enough trouble sleeping as it is. I suppose it might depend on which station is closest.
Jaywalker 07/11/2020 12:28PM
tonyyarusso: "A NOAA weather radio would be far more useful for this sort of thing." I agree. Cell coverage is spotty up there, and it can be pretty easy to miss an incoming text even if you have your ringer-sound-thingy up all the way. The NOAA radio can be set on “alert” mode for overnight and it will wake you up if an alert is issued. Basically the radio turns itself on and you wake up hearing the message of what’s happening where. On my first trip with one two years ago it woke me up 2 out of 9 nights warning of very strong storms. It was nice to have 20 minutes warning to lower and reinforce my tarp and tent, get my clothes on, etc, basically get ready.
It’s also nice that the warning often names some of the specific lakes that may be hit to help you orient better.


Garmins have two weather forecasts available, standard and premium for a bit more dough. Either might tell you the chance of strong storms in your area, but neither will wake you up at night to tell you it’s coming right from you.
saltdog 07/11/2020 08:26AM
I took an InReach for the first time this year. We went to Crooked Lake for 10 days. We used the InReach for navigation for the first and last day and then turned it on 3 times a day to send and receive messages. We used it twice to get weather forecasts. We still had 73% battery life when we got home. My kids got it for me as a Christmas gift. It is not something I would have bought myself but now I won't leave home without it.
Endeavor10 07/10/2020 10:13PM
Good call. I'm thinking of buying an Inreach too. Does it stay charged for long?
I guess it's more natural just to take the weather as it comes, but I'd like to give it a try and see how much I use it on an extended trip.
Savage Voyageur 06/17/2020 11:14AM
I’m bringing my Garmin InReach this year for weather forecasts. It gives me 2 1/2 days in advance weather. It’s really nice to know what’s going to happen and when.
tonyyarusso 06/17/2020 10:38AM
A NOAA weather radio would be far more useful for this sort of thing.
bombinbrian 06/17/2020 07:14AM
We're going to start taking a weather radio with us. Hopes we can get the forecast when we want it and can turn it on if the weather starts looking bad.
Canoeinggal 06/16/2020 07:15PM
I know that service might be sketchy. But does anyone have a weather app they recommend for severe weather or wind notification? Text would be best I think. We have experienced some severe storms in the past few years.