The science of drying - how to be a clothes line ninja

By Meteorologist Tom Adams

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.

Inversions

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.

What is a storm?

What is a Storm? 

The word ‘storm’ is frequently misused in the media and colloquially, almost as much as the misuse of the term ‘weather bomb’*.  In the strictest meteorological sense, a ‘storm’ is only a storm if accompanied by storm-force winds, which are defined by the Beaufort scale as having an average speed of over 47 knots (88 km/h). However, there are several other types of storm which don’t require storm-force winds.

Planetary Waves and the Hovmöller Diagram

Day-to-day weather features such as fronts and troughs, highs and lows constantly wash against New Zealand in the global atmospheric circulation.  Sometimes the weather in New Zealand is highly changeable, changing from heavy rain to blue skies with an almost daily frequency.  Other times the weather can seem to be stuck one way or another for days.  In this blog we discuss the reason for this: Planetary waves, also known as Rossby waves. We will also look at the tools forecasters have to analyse them, and the implications for New Zealand.

Forecasting the fringes – how to use forecasts for outdoor sports in remote areas

New Zealand is great for outdoor sports. Sometimes the weather is too. With summer approaching and long weekends on the calendar, the time is ripe for packing cars and heading off into the great outdoors. But how do you know if the weather is going to be any good when you’re planning a trip, particularly to places ‘off the beaten track’? This blog post is about how you can get a better idea of the weather in areas not covered by regular forecasts - the types of areas frequented by rock climbers, mountain bikers, kayakers etc.