Metservice gets satellite dish upgrade

COMING IN TO LAND: New satellite dish equipment is helicoptered in to the Metservice building in Kelburn.
COMING IN TO LAND: New satellite dish equipment is helicoptered in to the Metservice building in Kelburn.

A new dawn, a new day and a new satellite receiver for MetService’s Wellington headquarters.

The equipment, weighing 364kg, was installed by helicopter on the MetService building at the Botanic Garden at 7.30am.

It was an "big day" for the forecasters, who would be able to access weather data for the whole country from polar-orbiting satellites when the receiver was up and running in a few days’ time, meteorologist Dan Corbett said.

NOAA polar orbiting satellites like this one will help Metservice to forecast weather more accurately.
NOAA polar orbiting satellites like this one will help Metservice to forecast weather more accurately.

"The images you get have a far higher resolution. It will allow forecasters to better detect low cloud, fog and most particularly, volcanic ash."

Particularly at night, the satellite data would allow MetService to track ash clouds, which can disrupt planes, far more precisely.

The satellite receiver, costing $500,000 and funded from the organisation’s commercial revenue, would also more finely pick up temperature variations, Mr Corbett said.

"It’s another way to expand our forecasting tools...to provide better forecasts.’’

NOAA satellites - from the USA's National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration - would be used as well as several others.

The Dominion Post