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Metservice Goes Farming

Issued by MetService at 4pm 28-Nov-2006

Metservice Goes Farming

The new rural weather web pages on the free web site are now providing the weather information that farmers have asked for.

"Farmers' livelihood depends on the weather," said MetService Weather Ambassador Bob McDavitt. "At this year's National Fieldays we gathered ideas from farmers about what weather information they wanted from the Internet and we have now put these together in our rural weather section."

"Farming is all about turning rain into dollars, and so it isn't surprising that rain information is what the farmers wanted first. Our rain section provides a national view on rainfall for the past week, the past day, a radar loop for the past six hours, and a computer model giving expected rain for the next three days."

Farmers want quick access to weather information that will help their decision-making. "The first page in our rural weather section indicates any weather warnings and provides a place where anyone can click on their location to get access to a regional forecast covering the next ten days."

"The winning formula for weather forecasting is to get the best ideas and then to twist these with your own local knowledge. MetService isn't in a position to provide localised forecasts for every farm in the country, but many farmers know how their place varies from a spot down the road. On our 23 regional pages we offer 40 spots with a full hour-by-hour weather-graph covering temperature and rainfall, along with major wind changes. These graphs give today's observations and a forecast going out until the day after tomorrow."

MetService rural weather includes free access to their seasonal forecast which gives an overview of likely weather patterns for the next two months. MetService is also making local weather forecasts for 45 locations available via text messaging so that farmers can get a weather update via cell phone when out and about on the farm.


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