Looking back at the weather for 2014

Talking temperatures, 2014 will be remembered for being somewhat back-to-front. With a cooler than usual start and finish to the year for much of the country, the middle months of 2014 were very mild.

Weather balloons

Weather balloons have been released for decades around New Zealand to record data throughout the lower layers of the atmosphere. They have been used to measure everything from the base of low cloud to atmospheric wind and temperature profiles. One of the first people to use weather balloons was French Meteorologist Léon Teisserenc de Bort. He released hundreds of weather balloons from his observatory in Trappes, France. His experiments lead to the discovery of the tropopause and the stratosphere.

Christmas past

Christmas Day in New Zealand can be a hit and miss affair, weather wise. Some years, a High arrives in time for Santa. Christmas Day 2009 was beautifully fine and warm across the country, with Dunedin hitting 32°C, and many other centres approaching  25°C.

Midday analysis for 25th December 2009. Midday analysis for 25th December 2009.

 

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.