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SAME (Specific Area Message Encoder) Codes

When an NWS office broadcasts a warning, watch or non-weather emergency, it also broadcasts a digital SAME code that may be heard as a very brief static burst, depending on the characteristics of the receiver. This SAME code contains the type of message, county(s) affected, and message expiration time.

A programmed NWR SAME receiver will turn on for that message, with the listener hearing the 1050 Hz warning alarm tone as an attention signal, followed by the broadcast message.

At the end of the broadcast message, listeners will hear a brief digital end-of-message static burst followed by a resumption of the NWR broadcast cycle.

SAME is also used in the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Using SAME, broadcasters may receive NWR warning messages for rebroadcast in accordance with EAS rules.

SAME (Specific Area Message Encoder) Codes
for the surrounding area

Ohio West Virginia Pennsylvania
County SAME Code County SAME Code County SAME Code
Columbiana 39029 Hancock 54029 Beaver 42007
Jefferson 39081 Brooke 54009 Allegheny 42003
Belmont 39013 Ohio 54069 Washington 42125
Monroe 39111 Marshall 54051 Greene 42059

Only the most imminent life- and property-threatening hazards are broadcasted with the SAME signal and 1050 Hertz warning alarm tone, where the public has to take immediate action to protect themselves and their property. An operational guideline is that messages are alerted only for hazards urgent enough to warrant waking people up in the "middle of the night" or otherwise interrupting someone's activities at any time.

The following messages are always alerted on a NWR Transmitter if they apply to any part of its coverage area:

    MESSAGE EVENT CODE

  • Tornado Warning: TOR
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning: SVR
  • Flash Flood Warning: FFW
  • Tornado Watch: TOA
  • Severe Thunderstorm: Watch SVA
  • Hurricane Watch: HUA
  • Hurricane Warning: HUW
  • National Emergency: EAN

The following messages are sometimes alerted if they apply to the coverage area of the transmitter, depending on the circumstances and the area of the country. Check with the National Weather Service programming office of the NWR transmitter:
    MESSAGE EVENT CODE

  • Flash Flood Watch: FFA
  • Winter Storm Warning: WSW
  • High Wind Warning: HWW
  • Tsunami Watch: TSA
  • Tsunami Warning: TSW
  • River Flood Watch: FLA
  • River Flood Warning: FLW
  • Special Marine Warnings: --none-- Local non-weather emergencies CEM


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