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Webcam and weather station coming to the Crown Range

Webcam and weather station coming to the Crown Range

A state of the art weather station and webcam are to be installed at the summit of the Crown Range, offering road contractors and drivers a live feed of road conditions on one of New Zealand’s highest sealed alpine roads.

Construction has begun on the project, which received resource consent last month. It is a joint venture between QLDC, MetService and the New Zealand Transport Agency, and is expected to be online and operational by mid-July.

MetService meteorologists will be able to use high-resolution data from the new station, as well as the webcam imagery, to enhance forecasts for the Crown Range and the wider Queenstown Lakes District to produce a new road snow warning service for the Crown Range road. This new road weather information will also help QLDC’s roading contractors to ensure the right resources are available depending on the conditions, resulting in a safer journey for everyone.

As part of the project, very high resolution road weather modelling will be provided for the Crown Range Road where the road will be broken down into 30 metre segments. This will further aid meteorologists and road contractors.

The high-definition panoramic web camera will be installed as part of the weather station and will offer the public an opportunity to check the conditions at the Crown Range summit, with images being refreshed in real time every four minutes.

Polly Lambert, Policy, Standards and Asset Planner for QLDC says the new services will help drivers to make better travel decisions by providing access to up-to-date information, whilst also helping to ensure timely and proactive management of the road.

“The Crown Range is regularly impacted by winter weather and conditions can be challenging for both residents and visitors alike. This information will be added to QLDC’s daily Morning Winter Road Report, as well as our social media channels and website, offering much greater visibility of the conditions up there.”

Peter Fisher, Business Development Manager, Key Accounts for MetService says, “The new services promise to improve the support provided to QLDC”.

“MetService is excited to deliver this innovative solution. It’s the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and is specifically tailored to the district’s winter road-weather conditions. The public will also see the benefits through the forecasts, road snow warnings and observation information shared on our website.”

The project will include sensors that measure air and road temperatures, dew point, humidity, wind speed and direction and rainfall every minute.

Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright is excited about the installation of the weather station saying, “Anything that will encourage road users to plan ahead and stay safe during the winter months is to be applauded. It is a very useful tool, working alongside the Transport Agency’s traffic and travel webpage, 0800 4 HIGHWAYS freephone service and social media as well as the QLDC’s excellent winter road reports and the information on MetService’s website.“

The webcam will provide a valuable addition to QLDC’s winter road reporting service, offering drivers real time imagery of the conditions at the summit of the Crown Range. This will be added to the QLDC Morning Winter Road Reports and is expected to be a welcome enhancement to this hugely popular service. This reporting service, which is currently a finalist in the LGNZ Excellence Awards, is available free every morning in winter via email, text message and social media. Drivers can sign up via the QLDC website.


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