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).

Tropical Cyclone Lusi

Update as of midday Monday 17th March

Cyclone Lusi retreating to open waters

Cyclone Lusi crossed the upper South Island overnight and is now pulling away across the open waters of the southern Pacific Ocean.

January 2014

It was an unsettled start to 2014 with a persistent southwesterly bringing cooler than normal temperatures and a good scattering of showers. Frequent cries of “Where’s summer?” were heard up and down the country.

More active spring like weather spread in for New Year’s day with heavy rain and thunderstorms that affected the west coast of the South Island and a few spots further east.

The Sun Protection Alert has gone mobile for summer

New Zealanders can now check their phone to see when they need to protect their skin from the sun. The Health Promotion Agency (HPA) has worked with MetService and NIWA to produce a range of ways the sun protection information can be easily accessed by the public. In this mix is the inclusion of the Sun Protection Alert on MetService's Towns and Cities smartphone weather apps.

Forecasts and uncertainty

If you look back to the Towns & Cities forecast tabs or the Rural forecasts, you will notice that at the bottom of the 10 day forecasts is this phrase: “Forecasts and temperatures for days 1-5 are produced by MetService meteorologists. Forecasts and temperatures for days 6-10 are automatically generated by MetService's computer weather modelling system.”

Forecasting the fringes – how to use forecasts for outdoor sports in remote areas

New Zealand is great for outdoor sports. Sometimes the weather is too. With summer approaching and long weekends on the calendar, the time is ripe for packing cars and heading off into the great outdoors. But how do you know if the weather is going to be any good when you’re planning a trip, particularly to places ‘off the beaten track’? This blog post is about how you can get a better idea of the weather in areas not covered by regular forecasts - the types of areas frequented by rock climbers, mountain bikers, kayakers etc.