Tropical Cylone Tuni passes Samoa and is tracking southeast

By Emma Blades, Meteorologist Tropical depression TD03F was upgraded to a category one cyclone yesterday evening and named Tropical Cyclone (TC) Tuni by the Fiji Met Service. On Saturday evening TC Tuni passed to the southwest of Samoa. Radio New Zealand reported that Samoa had been battered by torrential rain on Saturday evening with reports of flash flooding across the island of Savai’i. At 7.00am this morning (New Zealand local time), TC Tuni had a central pressure of 993hPa and was positioned 160km southwest of Samoa.

El Niño explained

There’s been a lot in the news in recent months about El Niño. See, for example, the latest monthly outlook, and an ABC news story. Here’s a ‘back-to-basics’ description of El Niño. To start, the chart below shows a climatological average of air pressure at Mean Sea Level over the central and South Pacific.

Isolated showers

The Auckland forecast for Monday 12 October included mention of the following: '... isolated showers ...' and ' ... southwesterly winds ...'. From time to time you’ll hear the word 'isolated' in weather forecasts, so let’s see what it means with reference to observational data, some of which is available on www.metservice.com.

New satellite data

The Japan Meteorological Agency recently launched a new geostationary weather satellite called Himawari-8. “Himawari” means sunflower, and the name has been given to a new series of satellites that we can look forward to in coming years. “Geostationary” means the satellite rotates “in sync” with the Earth, always above the same point over the equator. We, in New Zealand, are now starting to receive early data from this satellite.

Weather for Flying - Turbulence

Have you ever thought that for aeroplane pilots, every day at work is a blue-sky day? Soaring above the clouds you might think that the weather isn’t such a big deal. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Pilots are dependent on weather information at every stage in their flights. In this blog post, we discuss one crucial aspect of aviation weather that affects both pilots and passengers – turbulence.

A rare July Tropical Cyclone

Tropical Cyclone Raquel was named at 6am on 1 July 2015, located at 5.8° South 159.3° East, some 410km north-northwest of Honiara, the Capital of the Solomon Islands. The maximum winds near the centre were estimated at 35 knots (65km/h). Whilst the consensus of computer models suggest Raquel will track slowly southwest over the Solomon Islands during Thursday and Friday, some models move the system towards the southeast, possibly affecting Vanuatu and/or New Caledonia in the coming days.

Snowfall in New Zealand

New Zealand is well known for its spectacular mountain ranges especially during the winter when they are covered in a fresh layer of snow. It is not usual to see that snow level dropping down below the mountains but when it does it can cause disruption to New Zealand’s public travel networks.

Flying under the RADAR

By Lisa Murray, Communications Meteorologist.

The term RADAR stands for RAdio Detection And Ranging and was coined in 1940 by the United States Signal Corps, although it was German physicist Heinrich Hertz who showed that radio waves could be reflected from solid objects, in around 1886. During World War II, radar technology developed rapidly and has since become an essential tool in meteorology, as well as in other areas such as air traffic control.