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New Zealand’s toughest weather spot

Forecasting in New Zealand can be a challenge at the best of times, as we’re just a couple of islands surrounded by a mass of water. We can sometimes have 4 seasons in one day which can be a forecasters nightmare.

Where do you think the hardest city, town or region is forecasting wise?
How often do you find the weather during the day is quite different to the weather you may have heard on the radio or seen on TV first thing in the morning.

Feel free to comment and we’ll compile a list…


Steve on 3/04/2011 11:10pm

To me the hardest areas are Canterbury and inland Otago. Metservice think there accuracy is near 80% but how rigid are their guidelines for what’s accurate and what is not. Go Weatherwatch and please give us the new forecasts down this way soon. You guys are much better 🙂

guest on 3/04/2011 11:08pm

I go with Christchurch and Timaru. The northwesterly never arrives on time and the fluctuation in temperature is often hard to predict.

Dave on 3/04/2011 10:35pm

Not sure is that’s the worst but Metservice forecast for Christchurch is pretty average. As an example, yesterday’s high was 17 but the morning forecast was for 23 and the day before forecast was for 25 that’s respectively 6 and 8 degrees out. Even WW was expecting a high in the mid 20s.
Whether NW winds will beat the sea breeze and reach the city is something that even with local knowledge and careful study of models is still hard to guess.
Southerly fronts reaching the area on a hot day and coming as a strong easterly instead is something else that is always missed by Metservice.
Christchurch recreactional marine forecast is usually pretty poor.

Glenda on 3/04/2011 10:22pm

Northland weather must be a pain to forecast. Long and thin with some reasonably high hills in the middle. Often the forecast is for showers in Northland but they rarely reach the east coast if the weather is coming from the West. Would be good to have some more infor for each side and north south.

Allen Pidwell on 3/04/2011 9:59pm

North Taranaki would have to be up there as Metservice just does not seem able to grasp how Mt Taranaki modifies the SW wind flow into a SE. Maybe it is because their computer grid system is too coarse to be able to take such an isolated mountain into account.

sw on 3/04/2011 10:41pm

Much of the SW part of the north island south of New Plymouth the SW wind comes in as a westerly or a southeasterly depending on origin before or after the front,A SW wind in many of these areas is relatively weak compared to SE or W.

Andrew on 3/04/2011 9:54pm

No doubt everyone will think their place will be the worst. It’s likely the West Coast though. There’s few indicators to the west of what’s coming and a coastline that spreads along much of the South Island. A forecast for ‘Rain from Afternoon’ is not likely to be correct for the whole region. But because no one lives there, it’s a little pointless splitting the region into smaller areas. Locals generally know how to apply a forecast to their area.

And before you say ‘it’s always raining on the West Coast’, have a look at the sunshine hours. It’s not that far behind Christchurch.

sw on 3/04/2011 9:29pm

Probably be eastcoast south island,Christchurch a good example to get accurate forecasts (especially in the warm months) and Wellington city also is hard due to wind variations giving a complete change of conditions.

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