12 Jun 2013

NIWA launches new weather forecast for farmers

6:41 am on 12 June 2013

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research is launching a new weather forecasting service to give farmers tailored information about weather conditions on their farms.

NIWA Forecast is a web-based service that will operate from 7am on Wednesday, aiming to help farmers identify the right time to carry out weather dependent activities such as spraying and harvesting.

To promote the new service, NIWA is operating a weather station at the Fieldays site at Mystery Creek.

Chief atmosphere scientist Dr Murray Poulter said the weather station is similar to the 230 rural weather stations around the country.

By anchoring to those rural stations, he said the forecasts should be accurate and localised. The key element is that the service will be tailored specifically for a particular place.

"Rather than getting something quite general, what we want to try and do is lock down to the actual location - to get something that's as accurate for your place as we can."

He said the service will be run as a trial to begin with and NIWA wants to sign people up to use it.

Mr Poulter said the forecast for the next four days at Mystery Creek is for calm, dry conditions with light showers on Friday morning.