Storm warnings take new tone of voice

12:50pm, January 30, 2002

From Orlando, Fla., at a meeting of the American Meteorological Society

In January, the National Weather Service began testing new computer-generated voices for the agencys broadcasts of severe weather warnings. By the end of March, the new voices will replace the computerized voice thats been used since 1997.

The service, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), provides on NOAA Weather Radio general forecasts, severe weather warnings or watches, and hazard warnings for lakes and other bodies of water. Those broadcasts are generated in 121 forecast offices and are beamed from more than 650 transmitters nationwide. More than 92 percent of the U.S. population, including residents from Puerto Rico to Guam, can hear the broadcasts, says Jack Kelly, director of the National Weather Service.

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