The National Forecast Centre

The National Forecast Centre is MetService’s 24/7 weather monitoring and forecasting operational control room. Staffed by highly skilled meteorologists, working shifts and trained to international standards established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Forecast Centre is the source of all official weather forecasts and warnings for New Zealand.


Delivering forecasts to all New Zealanders 

The ability to provide weather warnings at scale to all New Zealanders rests on earned trust, and the strength of our relationships with media. MetService ranked second equal in reputational strength of all government brands by the Kantar Public Trust in 2023.

The National Forecast Centre is responsible for providing weather information to all New Zealanders, no matter how they choose to access weather information. To do this we deliver:

  • Accessible weather content every day to all media outlets, which necessarily scales up in times of severe weather.
  • Spokespeople to mainstream TV and radio news programmes to give expert weather commentary.
  • Information through multiple channels such as social media, our app and website. 
  • Shortform weather forecasts for use by media on hourly news programming over national radio networks.
  • Specialised forecast content such as rural and mountain forecasts, coastal forecasts, lakes forecasts.
  • Forecast content through daily weather pages in national newspapers.


Weather expertise

The weather intelligence delivered through the Forecast Centre is a mix of human expertise, experience, and deep local knowledge. This underpinned by the right mix of environmental data, global and local weather models, and external experts – both nationally and internationally.

The breadth of services delivered by the Forecast Centre is large, spanning services to central and local government to support national resilience through to a diverse range of commercial services. It also houses special functions established under international agreements including:  

  • Meteorological Watch Office (MWO) Wellington, under the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) framework, providing specialised forecasts and warnings for civil aviation. 
  • Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) Wellington, also provided under the ICAO framework as one of nine centres globally, providing advice and warnings of airborne volcanic ash to support aviation safety. 
  • Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre (TCWC) Wellington, under WMO and one of 10 centres globally, providing advice and warnings for South Pacific tropical cyclones. 
  • Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) Wellington, under WMO, delivering marine and severe weather services for the South Pacific. 


Where we work

Today, the core of the Forecast Centre, with the majority of meteorologists in New Zealand, operates from the MetService headquarters on Level 2 of Seabridge House, 110 Featherston Street. Outside this core in Wellington, meteorologists also work from MetService offices in Auckland, Raglan, and Paraparaumu, and remotely from Taranaki and Christchurch.


Our critical role in national resilience 

MetService is the only authorised provider of severe weather information for New Zealand as such, we are the “single authoritative voice” in times of severe weather. This is a critical aspect of the warning system, supporting individuals, communities, and New Zealand’s emergency management system to respond effectively, without confusing or conflicting messages.


Emergency response and support

The core purpose of the Forecast Centre is to provide decision support products and services that enhance public safety, economic prosperity, and the resilience of New Zealand to cope with extreme weather events. The Forecast Centre is designed to run efficiently during benign weather but is flexible and able to surge its capacity to meet the heightened demand for support during extreme events.   

An example was the MetService response to the extreme weather events in early 2023 when the Auckland Anniversary storm and Cyclone Gabrielle tested the nation like never before. MetService not only surged its capacity within the Forecast Centre around the clock to deliver enhanced engagement, but also provided senior experts to work directly with National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) within the National Crisis Management Centre to support the national response.


Delivering for business

The Forecast Centre also provides successful commercial services to the aviation industry, media, transport, energy, rural, and other sectors, as well as delivering value-added services to central and local government entities. It is through these commercial arrangements that a large part of how our social responsibilities are funded. We provide services to international clients, further supporting our ability to deliver expert forecasting services where and when needed.