Important note concerning the Birmingham NOAA Weather Radio situation...
NWS technicians have successfully installed a temporary fix to the Birmingham transmitter. While not returning to full power and coverage, we hope that this fix will provide coverage to a good number of radios that may not have been able to receive a sufficient signal from a backup transmitter. There are technical issues as to the type and length of cable, as well as the height of the tower that will limit our capabilities until the permanent replacement can be installed. We are still hoping to have that happen on or about May 3rd.
To allow NWR Birmingham radio users to check/confirm reception on their radios, we will be conducting tone alert tests on the BIRMINGHAM TRANSMITTER ONLY at 6 PM CDT tonight (Thurday), and again at 11 AM and 6 PM CDT Friday and Saturday. For all other transmitters, we will conduct the regularly scheduled weekly test Saturday at 11 AM CDT. If NWR listeners receive the test signal, their radios should activate for any warnings that are issued. Note that not all weather radios are configured to alarm for the weekly test; users may need to be near their radios at those times to confirm receipt of the test signal. If they do not receive the test signal from the Birmingham transmitter, they may need to reprogram their radios to one of the backup transmitters. Our webpage has all the specific information needed to do that.
At this point, we do not anticipate any significant changes to the status of the transmitter in the near term. We truly appreciate all the offers to assist us in fixing the tower, however, we are bound to existing contracts and the Federal contracting regulations for the maintenance and repair of the transmitters. While it is highly unlikely, if anything changes in that regard, we will let everyone know.