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New weather forecasts to improve safety

New weather forecasts to improve safety for Kahurangi National Park visitors


Trampers, hunters and mountain bikers will benefit from new weather forecasts for Kahurangi National Park which were launched yesterday on the MetService website and mobile website. The forecasts are produced by MetService’s team of meteorologists and are in response to increasing public feedback for weather forecasts for the area. The forecasts, which are funded by the Department of Conservation (DOC), will improve users’ confidence in the expected conditions while enjoying the park.

"Both MetService and DOC have received requests for forecasts for the Kahurangi National Park area. It became clear that there was a need for further information to enable people to make informed decisions before heading out, improving safety for those enjoying this vast area of varied tracks and terrain," said MetService General Manager Corporate Affairs Jacqui Bridges.

DOC Tourism Manager Tinaka Mearns noted, "Kahurangi has seen 28% growth in visitor numbers since 2014, with the Heaphy Track alone attracting over 7,000 people to walk or bike the track each year."

The new forecasts include a text forecast for the National Park area, with spot forecasts for wind, rainfall and wind chill temperature for three points within the park: Mount Owen (the highest elevation point in the park at 1875 metres); Mount Peel (1654m); and Perry Saddle on the world-famous Heaphy Track (885m).

New Zealand’s weather conditions can be highly changeable and MetService is pleased to provide DOC with an extended weather forecast offering, which now includes 12 park areas. MetService Expert Meteorologist Leigh Matheson said, "Kahurangi National Park is exposed to the westerlies, and cloud will commonly cloak the Tasman mountains and western slopes about Gouland Downs on the Heaphy Track, which can result in reduced visibility. Visitors should be aware that much of the park can experience large amounts of rain at times, and be prepared for the likelihood of snow in winter when visiting popular places like the Tablelands, Mount Owen and the Heaphy Track."

The new forecasts can be viewed at http://www.metservice.com/mountain/kahurangi-national-park or on mobile at http://m.metservice.com/mountain/kahurangi-national-park

ENDS


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