November 24, 2011

Today MetService launched real-time rain radar coverage of New Zealand on its website, metservice.com. For the last hour, images are every 7.5 minutes – the time it takes for each radar to go through one scan of its coverage area and send back an image – which means the images are effectively updated in real time.

“This is the culmination of a substantial project to investigate and test how we could make our rain radar coverage on the website even more useful to the New Zealand public,” said MetService deputy chief executive Mark Ottaway.

Previously, rain radar on the site updated hourly for the last eight hours.Following extensive investigation into enhancements of the product for public use, MetService first trialled more frequently updated radar coverage over Christchurch after February’s earthquake. The systems worked well for the trial and the team received a lot of positive feedback, so the company decided to continue the project and invest in a permanent solution for the entire country. A second step-up came with the grounding of the Rena, where MetService took the opportunity to test a further enhanced service over the Bay of Plenty region.

“Our trials confirmed that we could provide additional peace of mind to the public with a more immediate view of incoming rain,” said Ottaway.”While rain radar data are just part of a wide range of inputs necessary to make good weather forecasts and decisions, MetService is always looking at ways to provide more information to those who are interested – particularly to the public through metservice.com.”

As of today coverage is now nationwide, providing real-time updates for the last hour and hourly updates for the previous eight hours.

For further information please contact:
Jacqui Bridges General Manager Communications 04 4700777

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