MetService Increases Marine Services

December 7, 2010

From today, MetService is refining and improving its marine weather warnings by providing a full warning service to all its recreational inshore marine forecast areas.

In announcing the changes, MetService’s Manager for the Wellington Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre, Steve Ready, said that this new format will allow each inshore area to be allocated its own separate warning when appropriate.

There are four degrees in the new scheme:

  1. STORM Warning is issued whenever the average wind speed* is expected to exceed 47 knots.
  2. GALE Warning is issued whenever the average wind speed* is expected to exceed 33 knots but not 47 knots.
  3. SQUALL Warning is issued whenever a gale or storm warning is not in force, and the sudden onset of strong winds is expected to produce squalls with wind speeds of 35 knots or more lasting up to one hour.  In addition, squalls should exceed the average wind speed* by 15 knots or more.
  4. STRONG Wind Advisory is issued whenever the average wind speed* is expected to reach 25 knots and remain less than 34 knots.

*An average wind is one that has been chosen to represent likely conditions in a nominated area for a nominated period.

“The Squall Warning is particularly useful,” commented Ready. “It will be issued to warn mariners of intense, short-lived weather events that are associated with gale or storm force winds during a period of severe thunderstorm activity and/or with the passage of an active cold front.”

For Auckland recreational areas the only change from the current service is that the words “Wind Warning” have been replaced by “Strong Wind Advisory”.

According to Ready, these changes are intended to help mariners appreciate the likely impact of wind speeds as they shift from lower values, through stronger wind advisories, to squall, gale or storm warnings.  “When the word ‘warning’ is used, check it out as immediate action may be required.”

All coastal and recreational area weather forecasts are available on marine radio or from MetService’s MetPhone or website ( or on mobile).  A special blog has been added today on the MetService website with full technical details and examples of this new improved service.

For further information please contact:
Steve Ready        Manager Wellington RSMC  (04)4700737 or 027 5470737

(C) Copyright Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd 2010

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