World Meteorological Day 2017: Understanding Clouds

by MetService communications meteorologist Lisa Murray

Each year meteorologists around the world celebrate a chosen theme to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on the 23rd of March in 1950. “Understanding Clouds” is the theme of World Meteorological Day this year, to highlight the enormous importance of clouds for weather climate and water.

New MetService Weather App on its Way!

MetService is completely re-developing NZ's most popular weather app.

The app has been developed from scratch, with a new design, navigation and functionality. In contrast to the existing Towns and Cities App which has been in market for five years, there will be no charge to download it on iPhone or Android phones. It will instead be supported by advertising. 

Why is Wellington so windy?

by MetService Meteorologist April Clark

 

Wellington is known in New Zealand, and around the world, as 'Windy Wellington' due to the frequent strong, gusty northerlies that Wellington experiences. A hardened Wellingtonian is used to the strong winds, and may even miss them when they do disappear for a few days. So, why does Wellington get such sustained strong winds? There are a number of factors which come into play that make Wellington 'the windiest city' in the world with 178 days a year gusting at or above 63 km/h.

Inversions

By Meteorologist Tom Adams.

How often have you gone to sleep on a calm night under clear skies, only to wake up and find the whole valley is full of fog?  This makes for great photos if you live above the cloud, as shown below from January 28th 2017 in Crofton Downs, Wellington, but it’s not so nice for the people living beneath the cloud.  Often the top of the fog is a smooth, flat surface, and is due to an ‘inversion’.  In this blog post we unravel what an inversion is, and why it leads to valley fog like this.

Weather and the "Internet of Things"

By MetService Innovation and Technology team member, Brian Bell

As one of the resident “geeks” at MetService, I have been watching with interest the proliferation of personal weather stations (PWS). One PWS that has really captured my attention is the 5-in-1 smart weather camera from BloomSky.  The smart weather camera known as SKY2 looks like its design was somewhat inspired by R2-D2. It is a first for me to describe a weather station as “cute”. 

BloomSky weather camera

What is a storm?

What is a Storm? 

By meteorologist Tom Adams

The word ‘storm’ is frequently misused in the media and colloquially, almost as much as the misuse of the term ‘weather bomb’*.  In the strictest meteorological sense, a ‘storm’ is only a storm if accompanied by storm-force winds, which are defined by the Beaufort scale as having an average speed of over 47 knots (88 km/h). However, there are several other types of storm which don’t require storm-force winds.

Understanding the long range forecast

by Georgina Griffiths, senior meteorologist.

Resolution counts

Weather forecasting is basically an ‘initial value problem.’ This means that if weather models could capture the current weather perfectly i.e. correctly initialise the current state of the atmosphere, then in theory, they could forecast the future weather accurately well beyond the present limit of a week or so. After all, the atmosphere is a fluid, and follows strict laws of physics.