Your Weather on metservice.com
Introducing Your Weather
Your Weather provides a national real-time view of NZ weather conditions, combining the latest observations from MetService automatic weather stations, weather cameras and traffic cameras with observations from weather stations owned by members of the public and other groups. All these observations are displayed as layers on maps hosted on the MetService website – just look for the Your Weather tab on Towns & Cities pages.
Take a look at this story from ONE News for a quick look at the features of Your Weather.
How does it work?
MetService has collaborated with the Met Office (the UK’s national weather service) to source weather station data from the WOW (Weather Observations Website) System. The WOW System was developed by the Met Office, with support from the Royal Meteorological Society and the Department for Education in the UK, to provide an online hub for UK weather observations which helps educate children about weather and encourages further growth in the UK's amateur weather observing community. Despite its UK focus, the WOW System now has global coverage and has attracted visits from weather enthusiasts in more than 170 countries.
While the UK and Australia currently have separate Weather Observations Websites, MetService has chosen to integrate New Zealand-based weather station observations from the WOW System directly into metservice.com and display them alongside our own to give you a single view of weather-as-it-happens in your local area – ‘Your Weather’. This approach enables us to add other useful information, such as weather cams and traffic cams, in the same single view. We intend to grow the types of weather-related information that you can access from Your Weather pages, so let us know what you would like to see!
How do I get my observations onto Your Weather?
MetService is encouraging everyone to help put New Zealand weather ‘on the map’. To find out what kinds of weather stations work with Your Weather, check out the Compatible Weather Stations and Software page. Then visit the Add Your Own Weather Station page and put your place on the map!
Can I view MetService observations in Your Weather?Yes - the most up-to-date observations from MetService's Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) are displayed on Your Weather. A filter is provided so you can turn either the MetService or third-party weather stations on or off.
Can I view MetService forecasts in Your Weather?No – our forecasts remain in their usual place on separate tabs and pages. Your Weather complements (but does not replace) those forecast pages by providing a single view of what’s happening right now in your local area across a range of weather conditions.
How do I lodge observations from my own automatic weather station?From any Your Weather page, select add your own weather station. Details on how to ingest your data into the WOW System are provided.
I think I've followed all the instructions but I still can't submit my AWS data to the WOW System. What should I try next?Try these trouble-shooting tips:
- Check if there are any error logs or messages in your supporting software.
- Make sure that you have entered your WOW Site ID number and your 6-digit AWS PIN correctly in your supporting software settings.
- Ensure that data is posted in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) which may be set in your supporting software. Do not post in local time as the WOW System assumes all data submitted is in UTC.
- Check that your computer's operating system does not have any firewalls that restrict messages being sent to the WOW System (e.g. Windows 8 has a built-in firewall).
- Once you think all the settings are correctly entered, send a test observation to check that your equipment is working correctly with WOW. Create a site name in WOW that starts with the word TEST and use this site to check your equipment and settings. Once you are confident that everything is working (data is being successfully submitted) this site should be marked as inactive within the site details form, and a new site created.
- Still having problems? Use the WOW System’s feedback form and provide details of your site and connection issues. Error logs from your site may be retrieved by the Met Office to diagnose any problems. You can also send a post for help to the WOW Forum where other WOW users can give advice. Once you are connected, share your AWS site installation and WOW connection experience on the Forum so others can learn and set up their own stations.
As an existing WOW System user, will I have to re-establish my site/s or login so my station appears in Your Weather?No, you don't need to do anything to see your observations on Your Weather - there is only one WOW database. MetService has simply sourced your observations from that database. However, Your Weather only displays observations that are less than 60 minutes old so, depending on your station's settings (and whether you are uploading observations automatically or manually), not all of your observations may appear.
There is a function in the WOW System to submit weather impacts - are they relevant to New Zealand?Users all over the world can submit information on weather impacts using the WOW System. The type and severity of these impacts have been designed for UK environmental conditions, but many still have general relevance to New Zealand (e.g. damage to infrastructure or property from hail storms). Your Weather does not currently display this type of information, but you can still record it for your own interest.
Can a network of stations be automatically submitted for display on Your Weather?Yes - MetService encourages all owners of either single stations or meteorological networks of all sizes to submit their automated observations to the WOW System so we can display them on Your Weather. Go to the UKMO's WOW System support page to find out how to import your data into the WOW System.
I already share my data with another automatic self-lodgement system; can I also submit data for display on Your Weather?Definitely! MetService encourages all those who submit their data elsewhere to also submit their data to the WOW System so it can be displayed on Your Weather. For more information about software that is compatible with the WOW System, go to the Compatible Weather Stations and Software page.
I don't want to buy a weather station but would still like to contribute to Your Weather. Can I do this?It depends. You don't need a weather station to contribute to the WOW System. You can submit weather reports (including your visual observations), weather photos and, if you have any type of rain gauge in the garden, manually submit daily rainfall records for your location. This is a useful record of your local weather history. However, Your Weather only displays certain types of observations and only those that are less than 60 minutes old, so if you are entering data manually and infrequently then your observations may not appear on Your Weather.
I have rainfall records for my location dating back many years. Can I submit this historical data into Your Weather?This type of historical information won't be displayed in Your Weather. However, you can submit historical information to the WOW System through the bulk upload function. Such data may be valuable and the WOW System can provide a safe repository so the data is not lost.
Does MetService recommend any particular weather stations for use with Your Weather?No – there are many different stations available and we encourage you to find instruments suited to your location, personal usage needs and budget. Stations range from cheaper, entry level stations costing a few hundred dollars through to professional systems worth many thousands. All are appropriate for use with the WOW System, through either manual or automatic data upload, and many are capable of connecting automatically to the internet – the best way to ensure your observations make it on to Your Weather.
To find out what kinds of weather stations and software work with Your Weather, check out the Compatible Weather Stations and Software page. Then visit the Add Your Own Weather Station page and put your place on the map!
How can I best set up my weather station?Setting up your weather station to the specifications below will achieve the highest quality data rating in the WOW System. However, these specifications are a guide only and many sites will not conform to these stringent standards. Documenting your site conditions, whatever they are, in the WOW System will enable your valuable observations to be useful.
Rain Gauge - an open area 300mm above ground free of obstructions such as trees and buildings (ideally the site should be twice the height of obstructions distant from those obstructions).
Anemometer (for wind speed) - 10m above ground level on a mast in an open area free of obstructions such as trees and buildings.
Temperature and humidity sensors - in a shaded well ventilated white enclosure at a height of 1.2m above ground level. The ground surface should be natural grass mowed to a couple of cm high. Concrete or bitumen surfaces are to be avoided as the retained heat affects overnight temperatures.
You can also upload photos of your weather station in the WOW System. Site photos help other users of the data judge the quality of instrument siting and the impact on your observations.
For more detailed, technical information about siting your weather station, here are some helpful guidelines:
Bureau of Meteorology Guidelines for the Siting and Exposure of Meteorological Observations (PDF)
Royal Meteorological Society Guidelines for Setting up a Weather Station (PDF)
MetService’s role in the WOW System
Who provides the WOW System in New Zealand?The UK Met Office owns, hosts, maintains, supports and conducts all development of the WOW System. MetService has entered into an agreement with the UK Met Office to collaboratively use and promote the WOW System in New Zealand in a way that complements our own provision of national weather information.
Can I see New Zealand forecasts provided by MetService in the WOW System?No - MetService's forecasts have not been integrated into the WOW System and are not displayed on Your Weather. All official New Zealand forecasts and warnings remain in their usual place on separate tabs and pages on our website www.metservice.com
Can I see New Zealand observations provided by MetService in the WOW System?No - MetService's observations have not been integrated into the WOW System. They are displayed on Your Weather using a completely separate system owned and controlled entirely by MetService.