A failure of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio Broadcast System has been temporarily fixed, according to the National Weather Service in Memphis.
A hardware problem caused transmissions to stop for about eight hours Tuesday morning. Ten frequencies were out of service, and seven others were degraded.
Transmissions resumed shortly after 9 a.m., according to NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Ben Schott.
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"Everything should be running as normal," Schott said, adding that NWS technicians will continue to monitor the system as severe weather approaches the Mid-South Tuesday night.
Under normal conditions everyone is reminded to make sure their NOAA weather radio is in good working order because it will automatically go off and alert you that severe weather is approaching. That is not going to happen as it stands right now.
"We've had issues where a phone line has gone down at a transmitter," said Jim Belles, NWS Memphis meteorologist. "Certainly a storm could knock a transmitter over but to have all of our communications all of our transmitters. Basically the system itself here at the weather office go belly up. It's been extremely reliable for us. We even had mechanisms to go to back up. Even those truncated and weren't able to do that."
"There are so many ways to stay plugged in early," added FOX13 News Chief Meteorologist Joey Sulipeck. "It's amazing that won't be there, but you'll have real-time coverage with us on Twitter you can follow on Facebook online, not just the airwaves, which is our bread and butter.
In the meantime engineers at the National Weather Service were brainstorming on ways to get the system back up and running when someone suggested wiring around the system. They tried it and it worked.
NOAA's Weather Radio for the Mid-South region will be working tonight and early Wednesday morning if severe weather does occur. But we now know if it goes out, we have other options to alert us to threatening weather. They just won't wake us up in the dead of night as the NOAA Weather Radio will.
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