What is NOAA and NWS?


Eel River Delta Flooding in Ferndale, CA
  Photo Courtesy of Humboldt Office of Emergency Services.

NOAA is a government agency and stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Many people think NOAA is just weather but these folks have some of the most amazing super computers and satellites that help to provide data both above and below ground to monitor anything and everything related to weather and climate. They also monitor oceans and coasts; are involved in fisheries and marine sanctuaries; administer fleets of ships, aircraft and trains through their Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) and maintain the nations nautical charts. And you thought they only issued alerts when there were weather related advisories!

The National Weather Service is a division of NOAA. They provide weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. This is probably what most of us are familiar with. In particular C. Crane uses the NOAA Weather Radio Service as part of many of the radios we manufacture. Several of our radios even have the ability to issue an alert if there is an emergency.

Over the years, we’ve received several letters, testimonials and reviews from folks who were extremely grateful to own a radio during an emergency and even a few who are certain that the warnings issued kept them out of harm’s way.

With all of the recent weather we’ve experienced here in Northern California, we’re reminded how important it is to be prepared and how much having a battery operated (or a wind up) radio assists with that goal. Below are some pictures of the flooding and downed trees we’ve been experiencing. Our Governor, declared a state of emergency for our county as well as many others in California due to all of the storms.

Tell us in the comments how radio (whether one of ours or not) has helped you during a storm or other emergency and be entered to win the CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Radio. Please one entry per person. Drawing to be held February 13th 2017.

Congratulations JB Quayle on your win of the CC Skywave AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Airband Portable Radio!


Ferndale Road. Photo Courtesy of Annette Adams


You may think this is the Amazon River, but it’s actually the Eel River at flood stage moving at 300,000 cubic feet per second. Photo Courtesy Bob Crane.


Hiking in Avenue of the Giants. Photo Courtesy Seth Downey


Watching the waters rise. Photo courtesy Deanna Tocyzl



15 Responses to “What is NOAA and NWS?”

  1. Dave Minchella Says:

    In 1991, the Rochester, New York area suffered a huge ice storm. It started with freezing rain, and as the storm continued, I watched from my bedroom window as power wires and tree branches drooped down, eventually shorting, which looked like lightning and fireworks. One large flash, and our power was gone. All night long I heard sounds like shotgun blasts, old trees crashing down from the weight of the ice. Fortunately, I had an old transistor radio made by Lafayette, which ran on C cells. I was able to do allot of MW dxing, since all but one local station were off the air. Local powerhouse WHAM went back on the air thanks to its emergency generator. They provided 24/7 news coverage and phone- in talk, which kept us entertained and informed for the 10 days we were without power. I now have a C Crane CC-Plus radio, LED flashlights, ham HT,, and plenty of batteries ready for the next emergency. Thanks C Crane for making high quality radios and supplies for emergency preparedness.

  2. Verne Carter Says:

    Some of my first Public Service radios were RadioShack weather radios. Really liked the ones that you could program to sound an alarm for our county if severe weather was coming and them let us know a ahead of time .Many a time when we had severe storms in the summer or in the winter about to hit . Worst was an warning message about dawn back near the End of May in the early nineties there was a severe line of thunderstorm that was all up and down the Hudson valley and came from the western part of the state . I had just enough time to grab a few things outside and come back inside .There was continuous Lightning and rumbles of thunder right behind us from to Horizon. The storm was roaring in on top of us. Was so glad that storm was announced with a some notice ahead of time and it already spawned several tornadoes in central New York and when it was done with us we had trees down , wires down andpower was out for couple of days . Funny thing was that New York NOAA weather knew it was going to be bad and not enough notice was given out how bad it was going to be untill storm was roaring through Central New York in the early hours just before Dawn . I trust my weather radio and my police scanner because the police scanner gives you hourly updates all along the New York Thruway of what their weather conditions are .

  3. markotwo Says:

    my cc2 kept me informed during a nearby tornado touhing down in my town

  4. John M. Klosowski Says:

    As a young boy growing up in Philadelphia we did not have a TV until about 1952. I was addicted to a radio with a small plastic case. I listened to serial shows on Sunday and would pick up some distant DX stations from Wheeling, WV and New Orleans sometimes I heard Chicago.

    I was hooked from the age of seven and that has stayed with me for 73 years My wife and I retired to KY to be closer to our children and grandchildren. I go to bed with a pillow speaker and a timer and listen to talk radio out of Portland and LA.

    My radio is 11 years old . I have had an old radio Shack and a Midland weather radio that have gone deaf and while they still light up they get no signals. I live about 45 miles from Lexington and as close as we are the signals still fade so the timer still shuts things off which is a good thing. On the coast to coast show out of LA I have heard your Sky Wave radio advertised by the host and recently have looked at all the features it offers and especially the weather warnings. Tornados and flash floods usually come from the south west where we live and I miss not hearing the warnings .

    I think your SKY WAVE would be the right radio since it has the weather bands and with my addiction to late night listening and the opportunity to hear the aircraft frequencies for the air traffic going in and out of Lexington would be a great fit .

    I saw the request for stories on your web site and decided to test my luck. In college on Palm Sunday in the late 60’s I had the good fortune to just miss as the tornado went across Lake James as I was on my way back to town from a study session with some friends who has rented a cabin . School was closed the next day and most of the damage was along the Indiana / Michigan boarder.

    That incident has made me weather alert for most of my adult life.


  5. Mark P Says:

    On the farm we were often far from the house. Having a battery powered radio was essential when we were out in the fields trying to get the hay in during uncertain weather. Since it might take us 20 minutes to get back to the barn, we needed substantial advanced notice of fast-moving storms so that we wouldn’t be caught out in the open sitting on top of a big hunk of metal when the storm front and lightning arrived.

  6. Orpha Cary Says:

    During spring storms the NOAA broadcast is our source for whether/when we should go to the storm cellar as a tornado is brewing in our area. It also helps in knowing how to dress as we head out for the nearest shopping area…sunshine, rain or wind, or what.

  7. David F. Lanphere Sr. Says:

    National Oceanographic and Aeronautical Agency and National Weather Service. I am a Merchant Mariner, and a US Navy Veteran. I have been listening to AM radio since I was a child, and a battery powered radio is a must. I have several of your radios, just because.

  8. Jim Armfield Says:

    Living in Joshua Tree Ca in 1992 when the 7.4 earthquake hit in the early morning. Radio was the only means of communication at the time. Phones were down, no electricity and no tv. We were able to keep advised of the events and what was happening in the valley.

  9. Bernard Gonzalez Says:

    The CC Skywave sure looks like an AWESOME radio!!! Hopefully I will be able to purchase one real soon!

  10. jbquayle Says:

    Living in Southern California weather information is not as critical as other locations in our country. We do get sever thunder storms that cause power outages. When we have thunder and lightning in the area it is valuable to have access to NOAA and NWS. With a battery operated radio it is possible to get access to both of those services when the power has gone out..

    I also enjoy going to airports to watch arriving and departing flights. With a radio that has the ability to pickup aircraft frequencies it is possible to listen to air traffic between the tower and the aircraft. I enjoy thinking about where the planes are coming from or going to. Listening to ground control directing aircraft to gates or runways is fascinating.

    I have a CC Radio-SWP and a pillow speaker I use when I travel. Being able to listen to the battery operated radio when traveling or in bed has been valuable to me. I can get news or information on the radio when I am trying to go to sleep.
    CCrane radios are great products. I have owned several radios from CCrane and enjoyed them and their quality.

  11. robert lannon Says:

    I’ve always been curious about the Eel river, not too much reporting of the north west state..Thanks for the pics and update…

  12. Sue C Says:

    During Hurricane Sandy (here in New Jersey), we lost power for days. NOAA and a portable radio was our only connection to what was happening. It was a crazy scary time! ever since, my husband is a weather watcher fanatic!! Every one calls him if they are making plans to see if the weather will be cooperating!

  13. Dan church Says:

    Hoping u can add ssb as well. Also a filtered ac adapter. All the ones have got from you over last 3yrs cause interferance. Running on just batteries provides an extreme increase is useability. Reception and noise reduction arehugely improved NotUsing your ac adapters. Use generic adapters from most places marked filtered and they are extremely betterbetter

  14. Ron Broadnax Says:

    We have one of the programmable weather radios made by Midland that allows us to select our general area. Many times this unit has warned us of impending danger from sever thunderstorms and toronado activity close by. Living in a two story home, it was essential for our family to seek shelter in the lower level in time. It also gave us opportunity to secure lawn furniture that may have otherwise become flying missles. Safety first..

  15. Anna Gough Says:

    My CCRadio2 Emergency Weather Alert feature kept me informed and up to the minute with reports from NOAA and the NWS before and during hurricane Matthew and during bad and stormy weather in January which put us under tornado watches and tornado warnings, here on the central east coast of Florida. When the power went off, my CC Solar Observer kept us informed on the weather band, and the built-in flashlight was quite convenient.

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