Albany Tornado, Tuesday 3 May 2011

Few weather events are as dramatic, dangerous or challenging to predict as tornadoes.

About the tornado of Tuesday 3 May 2011

On the afternoon of Tuesday 3 May 2011, a line of showers moved southwards across Northland. Ahead of this line the winds were moderate northeasterlies; behind it, they were moderate northwesterlies. Along the line, the winds converged - that is, pushed against each other. Below is a portion of a working chart for 3:00pm Tuesday 3 May 2011, drawn by one of the Severe Weather Forecasters.

MetService’s Investment in Forecasting

The practice of weather forecasting in a professional environment is subject to continual change, driven by advances in the science of meteorology and computing technology, as well as the changing needs of the end users – the people, businesses and public-sector agencies that make decisions based on weather information.  
 
Funded through commercial activities
 

NEW dust graphs for Christchurch city

Over the past couple of days we've been working on an easy-to-understand indicator of the risk of wind-driven dust clouds in and around Christchurch city. To our knowledge, no-one’s tried this before.

These 'dust graphs' are now live on metservice.com so that the people of Christchurch, emergency services, lifelines and others have more information to help them deal with the very trying circumstances they continue to face.

FitzRoy: Inventor of the weather forecast

This article was originally published in New Zealand Geographic, issue 99 September-October 2009 

Robert FitzRoy is famous as captain of the Beagle on the voyage when Darwin made his discoveries, although many New Zealanders also know FitzRoy as Governor of New Zealand before George Grey. But to meteorologists, FitzRoy is famous as one of the pioneers of weather forecasting; indeed, FitzRoy coined the term "weather forecasting". He was also a superb navigator and surveyor whose charts of South America were still in use more than 100 years after he made them.