NOUS41 KWBC 181936



Service Change Notice 13-32

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC

336 PM EDT Thu Apr 18 2013


To:       Subscribers:

          - Family of Services

          - NOAA Weather Wire Service

          - Emergency Managers Weather Information Network

          - NOAAPORT

          Other NWS partners and NWS employees


From:     Eli Jacks

          Chief, Fire and Public Weather Services Branch


Subject:  Change to the Federal Information Processing System

          (FIPS) Code and the County Form of the Universal

          Geographic Code (UGC-C) for the city of Bedford,

          VA, Effective July 1, 2013


Effective Monday, July 1 2013, at 0400 AM Eastern Daylight Time

(EDT), 0900 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the NWS Weather

Forecast Office (WFO) in Blacksburg (RNK), VA, will implement a

change to the Federal Information Processing System (FIPS) code

for the city of Bedford, VA.  The FIPS code for the Independent

city of Bedford (515) will no longer be used; the FIPS code for

Bedford County (019) will be used instead. The FIPS code change

is required by the change in status of Bedford, VA, from an

Independent City to town status. On July 1, 2013, Bedford, VA,

will become an incorporated place within Bedford County, VA.


If severe weather is occurring, or forecast to occur, at the

scheduled implementation time, an updated Service Change Notice

(SCN) will be issued announcing a postponement of this change

until Tuesday, July 2, 2013, at 0400 AM EDT, or later if



The county form of the Universal Geographic Code (UGC-C) is used

in some NWS products and the county portion of the NOAA Weather

Radio (NWR) Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) code.


The correct county code is critical for receiving watch, warning

and follow-up products such as tornado and flash flood watches

and warnings.  All NWS partners and users and weather radio

owners who receive products covering Bedford, VA, and rely on the

C form of the UCG code, or the NWR SAME county code, must

reprogram their equipment no later than July 1, 2013, to receive

the WFO RNK products listed in Table 1.  NWS suggests partners

and users may want to program the new code (019) before July 1,

2013, and retain the current code (515) in their systems until

after July 1. Doing so will make the change transparent on July

1; users will only need to delete the old code (515) after the



Table 1. WFO RNK Products Affected by the FIPS Code change for

Bedford, VA, from independent city to town status:


Product Name:               WMO Heading:    AWIPS ID:

------------                -----------     --------

Tornado Warning              WFUS51 KRNK      TORRNK

Severe Thunderstorm Warning  WUUS51 KRNK      SVRRNK

Flash Flood Warning          WGUS51 KRNK      FFWRNK

Severe Weather Statement     WWUS51 KRNK      SVSRNK

Flash Flood Statement        WGUS71 KRNK      FFSRNK

Flood Warning                WGUS41 KRNK      FLWRNK

Flood Statement              WGUS81 KRNK      FLSRNK

Watch County Notification    WWUS61 KRNK      WCNRNK

Watch Outline Update         WOUS64 KWNS      WOU#

   where # is last digit of the watch number between 0 and 9.


NOAA Weather Radio users in the Bedford area, including all

individuals and organizations in the Bedford area (such as media, law

enforcement, emergency management and schools) who own a weather radio

receiver with NWR SAME capabilities and have programmed in Bedford, VA,

as an Independent City, must reprogram their weather radio receivers to

continue to receive warnings for Bedford, VA, as part of Bedford County,

VA. Instructions on reprogramming your weather radio are in weather

radio owner’s manuals or available from the manufacturer of your radio,

your local retailer, or online at the radio manufacturer’s Website.


For your convenience, a list of many weather radio receiver

manufacturers is online at:


Other sources of information useful to reprogram your weather

radio receiver include the WFO Blacksburg home page:


The NWS NOAA Weather Radio SAME code information page:


A toll-free number provided by the NWS:

1-888-NWR-SAME (1-888-697-7263).


An updated county shapefile depicting Bedford, VA, as part of

Bedford County and not as an Independent City is online at:


Additional information on this and any future NWS implementations

of FIPS code changes is online at:


For more information, please contact:


   David Wert

   Meteorologist In Charge

   National Weather Service

   Blacksburg VA 24060

   Phone: 540-552-0084



   Phil Hysell

   Warning Coordination Meteorologist

   National Weather Service

   Blacksburg VA 24060

   Phone: 540-552-1613 Ext. 2



National Service Change Notices are online at: