WeatherWatch.co.nz has today launched National Forecasts for an additional 18 main centres across New Zealand – seven in the South Island and eleven across the North Island.
As you probably know WeatherWatch.co.nz receives no tax payer funding, so it’s not quite so easy for us to expand – but we are slowly getting there thanks to our sponsors such as Fonterra, Auckland Council and Country99TV who invest in our forecast services.
WeatherWatch.co.nz has temporarily branded the new forecasts as You Zealand – and aims to change the way forecasts are written.
“As our readers have seen in Auckland our forecasts use reliable data created by scientists and meteorologists then we explain in simple terms what that forecast will mean for you” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
“As we slowly grow the quality of these 18 new forecast centres we want the public to be part of it – so we can nail local weather features once and for all to build the most accurate weather forecast website in the country”.
The launch of the new nationwide forecast service solidifies WeatherWatch.co.nz as the new national weather service that covers all of New Zealand and not just Auckland.
Despite the news stories being nationwide since 2005, up until this past week WeatherWatch.co.nz only provided a daily weather forecast for Auckland.
The new service has been broken into three phases before the job is complete.
Today Phase 1 was launched… so just what is Phase 1, 2 & 3?
Phase 1 was simply to get raw data up and running for almost 20 main centres in New Zealand. The forecasts are sourced directly from MetOcean Ltd – and no humans run their eyes over these predictions before you read them. You may be surprised to know that the majority of online weather forecasts for New Zealand are done this way, but clearly it lacks the detailed quality information we have in our current Auckland forecasts.
Phase 2 will be to add WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters into the equation. We’ve been doing this in Auckland for years and have built up a strong reputation for accuracy. We aim to slowly do this across the country over the coming months and next couple of years.
Christchurch and Hamilton are first on the list – purely chosen for logistical reasons.
Clearly Wellington, Dunedin and Tauranga will also be high priority – but the improvements to those forecasts will be made further down the track.
Phase 3 may still be another couple of years away, but we plan to have detailed forecasts, personalised by WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters, for all main centres in New Zealand.
on 25/01/2012 7:58am
So you don’t even look at the metservice website at all??
on 25/01/2012 8:11am
We don’t purchase or use MetService data for any of our predictions, if we did, what would be the point of us producing the same information? We heavily rely on US data, European data and MetOcean data here in New Zealand.
on 26/01/2012 1:15am
But wouldn’t using more sources give you a more correct forecast??
on 26/01/2012 1:18am
Yes, which is why we currently use about 3 sources for our data. We don’t use MetService data because we feel, given time, we can do a better job. We recognise we have some hard work to do to achieve this on a national level – but to use their data would be like the All Blacks copying the Wallabies in order to win!
on 26/01/2012 2:47am
Ok, how many sources does the metservice use then??
on 25/01/2012 7:57am
Not to be negative guys but having forcasts that might not be accurate and not moderated by people might become a bit of a joke and put people off your new service, the Chch one was a great example today with sun showing all day and now stars at night when in fact its been a cold and very cloudy day.
Metservice has been moving to more and more computer forcasts over time some of which are a complete joke now with wildly swinging outputs and hours of telling us its a fine day when in fact its not.
Most people i know and work with now regard Metservice and Niwa for that matter as a waste of tax payers money.
I work in horticulture and accurate forcasts are a must but over the last year its just not happening so i hope you guys can do better.
on 25/01/2012 8:09am
Hi there, thanks for the feedback,
Christchurch is one of the first locations we’re looking at to get a human in there each day for every update, hopefully just a matter of weeks away. We are actually moving towards using more people and less computers over the next year – in fact it’s our number one priority. Our forecasters are also spread out – based in Auckland, Waikato and Canterbury.
In a months time we’re going to ask for feedback on where we can fine tune things with these new forecasts.