For one the scientific seems very specific and may have an antenna that is matched to the VHF signal that the weather channels are broadcast on. Where your midlands are GMRS/FRS radios that are on the UHF band which ideally would be suited to a different antenna. So, how do Midlands sound when you talk to other radios?
To give accurate information - a person would have to give a street level address of the location and the station they were trying to receive.
The way that NOOA all weather radio is set up, it should be available to listen to - most any major or minor populated place.
Its not a guarentee that you will receive a good signal everywhere with anything, but that you should receive something with a good receiver…
I would agree 100% with Bazel that trying to receive a VHF signal with a UHF antenna less then 6 inches long is the problem.
By nature FRS radios are not allowed to be manufactured with a removeable antenna, nor can they be easily modified. Hence their expected range is dependant upon the gain of the antenna. If you were able to take it apart, add a BNC connector and buy a good UHF / VHF two way antenna - about 4 times longer then what the radio came with, you would effectively double its range at no cost to power consumption. But then its effective ERP would be more then with the little stubby antenna and it wouldn’t be legal.
You could try to purchase a Rats Tail antenna booster…
Rat Tail antennas typically add a counterpoise to an existing antenna. That can certainly be useful but still nothing particularly exceptional. It isn’t difficult to add a “tail” to an HT, find out for your self if it’s worth it.