You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘heat wave’ bandied about in the news, and perhaps wondered what exactly it means. Does one hot day constitute a heat wave? And how hot is hot? Does New Zealand really get that many heat waves? If you’ve ever found yourself wondering about these things, then look no further!
The science of drying - how to be a clothes line ninja
Hanging washing on the line may not be the most life-dependant use of MetService forecasts when compared to farming, electricity generation or adventuring into the mountains. However, significantly more of us do it, and the environmental, economic and health benefits add up. Clothes line and weather forecast users have every right to be proud of their skill and bravery in drying clothes outside in New Zealand’s changeable weather.
The roll, the chop and the rogue wave
To mark Safer Boating Week, we thought we'd dive in and help boaties work out what sea conditions to expect when they see both sea state and swell mentioned in our coastal and recreational marine forecasts. To get you in the mood, let's talk about various states of discomfort that can be found on a boat.
In recent years the islands of Vanuatu have been showing signs of increased volcanic activity. The New Zealand Metservice plays an important role in the monitoring of these volcanoes, as they are the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC Wellington) for the region, one of only 9 centres around the world as shown in the map below.
Mastering the weather
During the month of August 2017, our forecast room meteorologists had some visitors. The trainee meteorologists at that time were sitting in on some shifts to get a feel for what real-time forecasting is like day to day. This was part of their training, which began in January 2017, and finished early in 2018.
Cliff Whiting in memoriam and the story of 'Tāwhirimātea and children'
On Sunday, 16 July 2017, artist and master carver Dr Clifford (Cliff) Hamilton Whiting of Te Whanau-a-Apanui (ONZ) passed away at the age of 81.
What makes a cold night?
When we head towards the Winter season, the days get shorter and we can expect temperatures to start to fall. Often in New Zealand, Autumn is a very transitional season, swinging from warm tropical air from the north to cold southerly air from the South Pole.
World Meteorological Day 2017: Understanding Clouds
Each year meteorologists around the world celebrate a chosen theme to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on the 23rd of March in 1950. “Understanding Clouds” was the theme of World Meteorological Day that year, to highlight the enormous importance of clouds for weather climate and water.
Why is Wellington so windy?
Wellington is known in New Zealand, and around the world, as 'Windy Wellington' due to the frequent strong, gusty northerlies that Wellington experiences. A hardened Wellingtonian is used to the strong winds, and may even miss them when they do disappear for a few days. So, why does Wellington get such sustained strong winds? There are a number of factors which come into play that make Wellington 'the windiest city' in the world with 178 days a year gusting at or above 63 km/h.
How often have you gone to sleep on a calm night under clear skies, only to wake up and find the whole valley is full of fog? This makes for great photos if you live above the cloud, as shown below from January 28th 2017 in Crofton Downs, Wellington, but it’s not so nice for the people living beneath the cloud. Often the top of the fog is a smooth, flat surface, and is due to an ‘inversion’. In this blog post we unravel what an inversion is, and why it leads to valley fog like this.Valley fog u