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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
For the South West Pacific, tropical cyclone season is said to begin in November and continue right through to April the following year. However, the weather doesn't follow a rigid calendar and tropical cyclones have been known to form as early as October and as late as the month of June.
Sitting out in the middle of the ocean, New Zealand is vulnerable to extremes of weather from all directions; from the remains of tropical systems barrelling in from the north, to cold winter southerlies bringing a blanket of snow.
As New Zealand’s designated national meteorological service to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), it is MetService's responsibility to provide clear, concise and timely warnings of severe weather that is likely to affect New Zealand.
What defines severe?
We remember our war dead on Anzac Day, 25 April, the anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli in World War I. But our heaviest losses in that war occurred on the Western Front.
Our worst day was 12 October 1917 – the First Battle of Passchendaele. New Zealand lost 1,000 soldiers in two hours because the high command ignored the effect of heavy rain on the battlefield.