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MetService Weather Observing Sites Survived Shake

Issued at 12:02pm 28-Aug-2003

MetService Weather Observing Sites Survived Shakeup

MetService weather stations in Fiordland have kept operating through the major quake and aftershocks that have hit the area. According to the US Geological Survey website, last Friday's 7.1 magnitude quake in Fiordland ranks as the fifth equal biggest earthquake in the world this year. New Zealand geologists from the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Ltd.(GNS) completed a survey counting more than 200 landslides, mostly concentrated around Secretary Island, just north of Doubtful Sound. MetService has a weather station at Secretary Island located within ten kilometres of the quake epicentre.

"It didn't miss a beat, in spite of all that rumbling and tumbling," commented MetService Data Manager, Tony Quayle. "Our other three stations in Fiordland, located at Puysegur Point, Milford Sound, and Manapouri, also had no data interruptions during the quake. To be vigilant against possible future problems we have arranged a visual inspection."

MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt, added that the accuracy of weather forecasts is dependent on trusty and reliable observations. "We like to use robust equipment and to house them in a sturdy fashion. It is not often that some of our stations are tested so severely in this way, and we are pleased to report that they survived without damage."

The MetService weather station on Secretary Island uses solar-powered assisted batteries and communicates via a satellite operated by the Japanese Meteorological Agency. It reports the standard details of interest to meteorologists such as wind, pressure, temperature, humidity and rain. These reports can be seen updated every three hours on the Observations Page at the web site as station number 93800.


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