“Palmerston North often receives a stormy reception over its weather, but the city is actually warmer and sunnier than people realise. Perceptions are important, and the Council saw the installation of a new MetService weather station in the central city as an important factor in improving the city’s external reputation,” says Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith.
Historically the city’s weather readings have been based on data supplied by a weather station at the airport in Milson, which has been in operation for decades.
“The Milson weather station is more than five kilometres from the central city, and like other airports around the country is very exposed to the elements. While it’s vital to have accurate weather readings at the airport, the cooler temperature readings there have really been selling us short as a city. Since installation of the new CBD station, we’ve already seen higher comparative temperature readings.”
The new weather station was installed at the beginning of the year and has been tested over the last six months.
At the same time, the weather camera on the City Council’s website has been upgraded. It now captures up-to-the-second weather data, along with a majestic, high-definition vista over The Square.
“What’s really exciting for our city is we’re now able to send high-definition images to our residents via our website. TVNZ has also been using these images during weather updates on its Breakfast show. The shot over The Square is magnificent and really showcases our city to viewers.”
The automatic weather station uses high-quality sensors, which are regularly calibrated, to measure and report a range of weather data including wind speed and direction, air temperature, and rainfall.
“We’re pleased to have been working with the MetService on this project,” says Mayor Smith.
MetService General Manager Corporate Affairs Jacqui Bridges adds:
“MetService meteorologists are also very pleased to have access to accurate weather observations representative of the city itself. Not only will they help us monitor how quickly weather systems are passing through, and whether they are intensifying, but these observations will also help improve the accuracy of our forecasts for the CBD area.”