BIG SPRING, TX (KWES) - More people across the Permian Basin will soon have access to severe weather alerts, thanks to a project backed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Crews are installing an enhanced antenna on a Big Spring television and radio tower approximately one mile east of Highway 87, north of Interstate 20, NOAA representatives told NewsWest 9.
The new antenna consists of eight "dipoles," said technician Ben Pearce, while the tower currently broadcasts with only one.
The improved transmission will likely double the reach of their radio alerts, said Eric Adams, a NOAA Regional Maintenance Specialist. Warnings from their Weather Radio, a nationwide network of stations broadcast directly from nearby National Weather Service offices, currently reach a maximum of about 20 miles.
"We're looking at 30 to 40 miles after this installation is completed," said Adams. "We hope to include Snyder in that as well."
Listeners hoping to access Weather Radio alerts will need a special receiver, he added. Adams called the tower upgrades an investment in public safety.