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.

Significant heavy rain & gales 5-8 May

By Peter Little, MetService Meteorologist

As a slow-moving ridge of high pressure departs to the east today, a deep northwesterly flow spreads onto New Zealand ahead of a trough.

Ensemble Forecasting

The wisdom of the crowd Wisdom of a crowd At a county fair in Plymouth, England, in 1906, several hundred fair-goers entered a contest to guess the weight of an ox. The average guess was extremely close to the true weight of the beast – even though some of the individual estimates were wildly off the mark!

Severe weather expected on Sunday and Monday


An intense weather system that has already brought severe weather to parts of Australia has been moving slowly east over the Tasman Sea towards New Zealand. This system has brought heavy rain to the southwest of the South Island this morning. Around 400mm of rain have accumulated in some parts of Fiordland.

A tempestuous end to April - update

This blog contains the latest on the wild weather heading our way this long weekend. Read on for details of the current severe weather outlook and watch, as well as the latest chilly temperature forecasts for Monday and Tuesday.

Severe weather

A tempestuous end to April

By Emma Blades, MetService Meteorologist

Out over the Tasman Sea, a warm and moist weather system is gradually making its way southeast towards New Zealand. Meanwhile cold weather is brewing in the Southern Ocean – preparing to blast the warm air away.

First the wet weather