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Five-day marine forecasts to begin Monday

Date: 28 April 2005

Five-day marine forecasts to begin Monday

Extended-range marine forecasts to help boaties and seafarers plan safer trips will go live this Monday.

New Zealand will be the first country in the world to provide extended five-day marine forecasts. Until now, mariners have had to use 36-hour forecasts although some weather maps have predicted the situation for three days.

The Maritime Safety Authority began investigating the possibility of extended marine forecasts three years ago, and this was followed by extensive development. The Metservice forecasts will be broadcast by MSA’s maritime radio service.

MSA Manager Recreational Boating, Jim Lott, says the longer-range forecasts are great news for both recreational boaties and commercial seafarers.

“The further ahead you can plan your trip, the more likely you are to get it right. You’ll have greater knowledge of what the weather’s doing and you can alter the route you take.

“A lot of people plan to go boating three to four days before the weekend, and until now they’ve known very little about what the weather’s going to do. Anticipation of a planned trip can be huge – sometimes it’s really hard to change your mind at the last moment if the weather’s dodgy on the day. And poor weather is one of the three key factors of maritime accidents.

“Now, people can look five days ahead, and plan their trips with more confidence and make better decisions. This will go a long way to improving safety, and should save a lot of search and rescue effort,” he said.

Until recently, longer-range forecasts have been unavailable. Greater weather knowledge is now available through enhanced accuracy and improved computer modeling.

The forecasts will be for oceanic, coastal and recreational marine areas in the New Zealand. They will be available on VHF, HF, metphone, and through usual forecast channels.


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