Year 12 Maths, Trainee Meteorologists

Part of my job as a teacher of meteorology is to go to NZ universities looking for future meteorologists. It breaks my heart when, sometimes I meet a person with a genuine passion for the weather who would love to work for us as a meteorologist, but just can't cope with the required maths. Unfortunately for them, professional meteorologists need to have some university maths under their belts. And this requirement isn't just a local thing - it also comes from the World Meteorological Organisation of which we are a member nation.

The Great Northwesterly Storm of August 1975

If you were in New Zealand in the mid '70s you may remember a particularly strong wind-storm that devastated many parts of the eastern South Island. It struck on 1 August 1975, doing a huge amount of damage to pine trees in the Eyrewell and Balmoral forests in particular. To give you an idea of the power of this storm, some of the peak recorded winds and gusts were:

 mean wind (including gusts and lulls) strongest gust Christchurch Airport 126 km/h172 km/hTimaru Airport130 km/h165 km/hEyrewell Forest119 km/h170 km/h

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Service

From Wednesday 01 July 2009, MetService has been providing a Severe Thunderstorm Warning Service. This blog entry explains why we are able to do this, why warnings of thunderstorms are different from warnings of broad-scale weather events, which parts of New Zealand they will apply for, how you can receive them and what actions you can take to protect yourself.

Red sky at night...

Red sky at night, Shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, Sailor’s warning. I'm not going to argue about shepherds and sailors; that’s not important here. The questions are: “Is it a useful saying? Does is work? If it works, why?” And, “Why is the sky blue?”

An eggbeater southerly

Written by Bob McDavitt, Meteorologist

Today’s weather map shows how this cold southerly is being produced by a combination of a HIGH or anticyclone in the Tasman Sea, and a LOW or depression between Canterbury and the Chatham Islands. For want of a better phrase, we could call this an eggbeater southerly.