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MetService Issues New Improved Marine Forecasts

Issued at 12:52pm 01-Jun-2006

MetService Issues New and Improved Marine Forecasts

The wording of MetService coastal and recreational marine forecasts has changed. Wind speed forecasts in the outlook are now described by single numbers rather than by a speed range. In other words, numbers such as "15 knots" have replaced ranges such as "10 to 20 knots".

"Five-day marine forecasts have been available for just over a year," commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt. "These forecasts have proved to be very popular. Some users suggested that a rewording of the wind speeds would make the forecasts more succinct without changing the information they contain. We tested this idea with several marine organisations. The reaction has been favourable so we are now happy to go ahead and make this change."

"We welcome any improvement in marine weather forecasts," added Maritime New Zealand Manager of Recreational Boating, Jim Lott. "With about 50% of fatal boating accidents occurring in bad weather we see that this measure will make forecasts more efficient and easier to understand. At its May meeting the members of the National Pleasure Boat Safety Forum supported this change."

Users of marine forecasts are reminded that the use of a single number for wind speed always implies that the number given is an average wind covering a ten-knot range. For example, a forecast for 20 knots means that the average wind is likely to be in the 15 to 25 knot range. Gusts may be fifty percent stronger and reach 30 knots.


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