Radar and mariners – a long relationship

The development of modern radar started in 1886, when German physicist Heinrich Hertz showed that radio waves could be reflected from solid objects. In 1904, another German, Huelsmeyer, was the first to build a simple ship detection device, successfully detecting a ship in dense fog. In the pre-war period (the 1930s), many nations were working on radar devices. A major advance occurred once systems were developed that allowed short ‘pulses’ of radio energy to be generated, allowing the range of the object to be determined by timing the pulses.

Conference showcases depth and breadth of MetService research and operations

The 2014 New Zealand Meteorological Society conference kicks off tomorrow, Thursday 20th November in Wellington, with perhaps the largest ever contingent of presenters from MetService taking part.

Best known for the daily forecasts and warnings that help New Zealanders stay ahead of the weather, MetService is also actively engaged in the scientific research that keeps those forecasts at the leading edge of international best practice.

Antarctic Adventure

During October 2014, MetService Meteorologist John Law is spending 5 days in Antarctica. We thought you would be interested to see Antarctica through John's eyes, so we asked him to keep a blog and report back to you on what he's getting up to each day!

New Masters in Meteorology a first for New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington will offer the country’s first Master’s degree in meteorology, in partnership with New Zealand’s official weather forecaster MetService.

The course, which will start in 2016, will be taught by Dr James McGregor and Associate Professor James Renwick from Victoria’s School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, along with four adjunct lecturers from MetService.

Public weather information is accessible to all

MetService is concerned that claims made by WeatherWatch this week on their website and in the media are misleading. The claims are about public access to weather information, particularly that related to public safety. In this blog, we refute those claims.

A better view out to sea in the far North

MetService’s newest long-range weather radar, situated near Kaeo in Northland, officially commenced operations on Monday 28 July 2014, with early imagery from the radar enabling MetService forecasters to provide very valuable information to Civil Defence and the public ahead of the June storms experienced in the region.

The Northland floods of July 2014

The Northland flooding event, July 8th to 12th 2014

The average July monthly rainfall total at Kaikohe, Northland, is around 180mm. In just one week in July 2014 the rainfall recorded there totalled 477mm, and that wasn’t even the wettest part of the region.

The hectoPascal and Air Pressure

The hectoPascal and Air Pressure In meteorology, the quantity pressure is an important driver of physical processes in the atmosphere. Pressure is the force applied over a unit of area, so it can be increased by having more force acting over a smaller area. Pressure is measured in Pascals, named after the French mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal (who also devised the famous “Pascal’s triangle”). The abbreviation for Pascal is Pa. An example of where air has high pressure is the inside of an inflated tyre.

Recalling the Clutha Flood of 1878

The Waikato may be our longest river, but the Clutha is swifter, has the largest catchment and carries the most water. With its headwaters in the rain-factory of the Southern Alps, the Clutha also produced, in 1878, one of New Zealand’s greatest floods.

Southerly buster on the way

A classical southerly buster looks likely to reach Wellington near to the evening rush hour today (Tuesday 25th March).