This summer, as more and more New Zealanders download the free WeatherWatch.co.nz app, we’re finding some are confused about why certain forecasts are short and sharp (and sometimes wrong) – while others are very detailed.
Basically, if it wasn’t for the support of the meteorologists and sceintists at MetOcean/Weathermap.co.nz we wouldn’t be able to provide nationwide forecasts that go on to our app & public website – it would be just several main centres only.
The MetOcean computers use US data and some of their own to create “raw” forecasts (computer generated). For the most part these are great at giving you a general idea of temperatures and rain or sun. They are simple forecasts – for example, no mention of frosts or drizzle or cyclones etc.
For that level of info requires hiring people and taking time to look at different sets of data – in otherwords, a pair of human eyes checking things and then making changes if needed – just tweaks to lift accuracy (ie, a basic raw forecast might miss that shower hitting your campsite!).
Just like owning a shop – each new region costs us money if we are to ‘set up’ there – even if just online.
So, WeatherWatch.co.nz invests a huge amount of resources into writing our very own forecasts for the main centres: Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North (trial), Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Those are the forecasts WE here at WeatherWatch.co.nz write – and we pay for them via revenue we make from our clients so that we can give them away for free to the public.
The other forecasts – for all the other centres – are shorter and sharper and come from the computers at MetOcean/Weathermap. We have an arrangement to display this raw data as is.
Our goal in 2015 is to try and grow our detailed forecasts – but each market costs us about $500 a month to operate. So if you own a business – or have connections with your local council – perhaps get in touch with us and see if there’s a way we can improve the forecasts we have for your region or main centre.
Of course, each day we do write news stories which cover the weather for all the regions – but it’s only a 24 hour forecast, rather than a 6 day long one.
A huge thank you, as always, to the team at MetOcean/Weathermap for backing the small guys. We hope to grow our forecast base over 2015 with the support of other businesses around New Zealand.
Happy New Year – from the WeatherWatch.co.nz family – and here’s to further growth this year as we help more and more Kiwis with day to day weather forecasts.