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Why we have non-weather stories at

We ran this story back in November but in light of the recent earthquakes around the globe we thought we’d run an updated version of it – and our Facebook readers may appreciate this even more, as the majority of our earthquake news is featured there exclusively, especially breaking news about large global quakes and tsunami risks.

They are questions we’re often asked – why does a weather news website have stories about earthquakes, or tsunami or planes? 

Oddly enough a story we published from CNN in November about a man standing on a flight for 7 hours received a high amount of views and certainly sparked some interesting conversations on our Facebook page. (also known as The Weather Channel) is one of the biggest websites on the planet – and they know all too well that their readers love to read other environment related stories – it’s not always weather.  Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes – even politics and financial news about airlines.

In fact, that’s really our policy here at   We cover all environmental stories, and failing that, we cover topics that are generally interesting for our readers.

Clearly we leave the mainstream media to do the indepth coverage, but from time to time we do touch on non-weather stories, if they are topical.

Lately, it’s been global quakes and tsunami risks. 

Thing is, weather has more pattern to it than quakes and tsunami – so people come to us to find out about developing quake and tsunami stories – especially if they outside of NZ – because they know we run a 24/7 news service that has a strong natrural disaster focus.

Our readers overwhelmingly appreciate this unique service according to recent polls and feedback.

So what are our priorities with news?

  • Breaking Weather News is always our main focus. We want to be first with the breaking story, but accurate too.
  • NZ Weather News – We like to let you know each day about the current set up across the country and update again during the day as things change or develop.
  • Earthquakes / Tsunami – We tend to stay away from this here on our website unless it’s significant, but on our Facebook page we cover all Pacific earthquakes that we feel are large and higher risk – roughly this is most quakes over 6.5 or any that might spark interest in a possible tsunami.  We cover many quakes over 7 globally too (again mostly on our Facebook page – click the F at the top of the page to “like” us).  We quote official sources for this and many see us as the only site in NZ to collate this information during significant events (like the Indonesian quakes a week ago).
  • Regional stories – sometimes there are stories that perhaps have an environmental angle.  Such as stories about arson in forests, environmental issues for farmers and growers, or stories about energy companies.
  • Natural Disasters – any natural disaster is newsworthy as people desperately want information.  Sometimes this doesn’t always tie in with the weather, but our ratings show that some of the biggest news stories we had this year had nothing to do with the weather or even New Zealand. (Japanese earthquake and tsunami for example).
  • International Weather/Climate Change – this is topical but we are aware you can find these stories elsewhere, so we try to keep them at a minimum.  Our Australian news tends to focus on the big three eastern centres, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
  • Random – Sometimes we have quiet news days, as do all news websites.  We don’t always have educational weather stories to publish so instead we focus on something else.  When we publish these stories we always ask one question “What does this story have in common with our readers?”.  So it might be light hearted, it might have nothing to do with weather, but the overall story should tie in with what the majority (but perhaps not all) find interesting or quirky to read (eg, the man standing for 7 hours!). 

But our main goal is always to provide commentary on weather conditions.

It’s our huge focus on this nation’s weather that makes us New Zealand’s only Weather News Authority – and while we might publish the odd “random” story, it’s our strong weather focus here at home that wins us the strong support of local and international media – and most importantly – the support we get from you!



CT on 18/04/2012 1:30am

Supermarkets sell baby clothes so why not!

Peter of Dunedin on 30/11/2011 7:36am

I applaud WeatherWatches eclectic approach to weather et al. It shows others that we weather nuts have a life beyond the troposphere and its interacting forces of nature. Long may WeatherWatch reign!

Zelda Wynn on 18/04/2012 8:52pm

Peter, I agree with what you have said entirely! Long live Weather Watch!

Ross on 30/11/2011 1:20am

It shows you have a personality, and are not just a faceless corporate sticking to a strict mandate set from on high.

Keep up the good work!

LynWood on 30/11/2011 5:52am

Hear hear!

And if you aren’t interested in the headline nobody forces you to click on the item!

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