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Hauraki Nowcasting Network Revamped

Coastguard and MetService Revamp Hauraki Nowcasting Network.

Coastguard Northern Region Executive Director John Cowan announced today that an upgraded Nowcasting network is now operating in the Hauraki Gulf and along Auckland's west coast.

Wind reporting stations at Tiritiri Matangi Island, Channel Island, Bean Rock, Passage Rock and Manukau Heads, first established in the early 1990s,( perhaps a world-first, and used by the winning America's Cup team in 2000) have been replaced with new MetService "mSTAR" equipment.

An additional station has been established on South Kaipara Head. Further stations are planned for the Cape Rodney and Bream Head areas, along with data from existing MetService stations at the Mokohinau Islands, Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga, ultimately providing every mariner moving along the coast access to information that can be critical to the safety of the crew and vessel.

The project has been made possible through a key major sponsorship by Half Moon Bay Marina. Chairman Harvey Sheppard says that the sponsorship supports the objectives of the Trust in their commitment to further maritime safety services for the boating public, and with Coastguard continuing to develop such initiatives the partnership is a rewarding one.

Auckland Regional Council has also assisted with funding for parts of the project. Bill Burrill, Chair of the ARC Parks & Heritage Committee sees the development supporting the safe enjoyment of our harbours and Gulf.

MetService's Manager of MetData Services, Tony Quayle says that mSTAR was developed as a moderately-priced automatic weather station to meet the requirements of customers whose businesses need reliable, high-quality meteorological measurements. "This is a compact, easily installed weather station that can be supplied with either professional quality sensors as used in MetService's own network, or with lower cost sensors for use in orchards and at industrial sites" Mr. Quayle said.

Data from the Nowcasting network is fed to MetService once a minute using Vodafone cellular communications and relayed to the Coastguard for its broadcasts to boaties. "The use of cellular data communications is an exciting development that provides near-instantaneous data from weather stations around the country" said Mr. Quayle.

John Cowan added that the Nowcasting network has provided a popular service for many years, and that the new weather instruments along with the MetService automatic weather station maintenance team should ensure the future of this valuable service.

1: Gordon.jpg: MetService Electronics Engineer standing beside the new "mStar" weather station on Passage Rock in Tamaki Strait.

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