Weather balloons have been released for decades around New Zealand to record data throughout the lower layers of the atmosphere. They have been used to measure everything from the base of low cloud to atmospheric wind and temperature profiles. One of the first people to use weather balloons was French Meteorologist Léon Teisserenc de Bort. He released hundreds of weather balloons from his observatory in Trappes, France. His experiments lead to the discovery of the tropopause and the stratosphere.
The development of modern radar started in 1886, when German physicist Heinrich Hertz showed that radio waves could be reflected from solid objects. In 1904, another German, Huelsmeyer, was the first to build a simple ship detection device, successfully detecting a ship in dense fog. In the pre-war period (the 1930s), many nations were working on radar devices. A major advance occurred once systems were developed that allowed short ‘pulses’ of radio energy to be generated, allowing the range of the object to be determined by timing the pulses.
During October 2014, MetService Meteorologist John Law spent five days in Antarctica. We thought you would be interested to see Antarctica through John's eyes, so he kept a blog to report back on what he was up to each day!
Victoria University of Wellington will offer the country’s first Master’s degree in meteorology, in partnership with New Zealand’s official weather forecaster MetService.
MetService’s long-range weather radar, situated near Kaeo in Northland, officially commenced operations on Monday 28 July 2014, with early imagery from the radar enabling MetService forecasters to provide very valuable information to Civil Defence and the public ahead of the June storms experienced in the region that year.
The Northland flooding event, July 8th to 12th 2014
The average July monthly rainfall total at Kaikohe, Northland, is around 180mm. In just one week in July 2014 the rainfall recorded there totalled 477mm, and that wasn’t even the wettest part of the region.
Written by Chris Webster Metservice Meteorologist
Written by Erick Brenstrum, Meteorologist