As the skies in New Zealand constantly shift, bringing along its usual assortment of unpredictable weather conditions, the science of weather forecasting becomes an essential aspect of our daily lives. This is especially true for the rural community where weather patterns significantly affect agriculture and livestock farming.
While cyclones may seem distant to some, WeatherWatch CEO Phil Duncan told REX host Dominic George about the weakening tropical cyclone moving away from the tropics, and its potential to bring severe weather to the top of the North Island next week.
"The storm runs into what we call winch here, which is high pressure down around New Zealand and also very cold sea conditions that don't support a tropical cyclone," he said.
"So it is not going to reach us as a cyclone, but it is going to merge with another system in the Tasman and might bring a little bit of severe weather to the top of the North Island next week."
Moreover, Duncan highlighted the significant importance of sun protection in New Zealand due to the country's high UV levels, especially during the spring season. He stressed the need for men to take extra care, advising the use of moisturiser with SPF.
"I'm trying to say to men, to farmers because we've got this real problem in New Zealand with men and skin cancer is look, I hate suntan lotion. It's awful, it smells gross. It feels gross. But you can get like a moisturiser that's got SPF in it and just get used to putting it a bit on your face and hands in the morning," he suggested.
Weather forecasting in New Zealand also seems to be affected by political influences. Duncan brought up the National and Labour Governments' indifferent approach towards the work of NIWA and their dismissal of a decade-old review.
"I don't understand it. So I'm trying to let it go, because what's the point of being angry if you can't change it?
"So, yeah, we're focused on ourselves now and just letting them dig a hole for themselves."
Despite these political hurdles, Duncan praised MetService for providing weather radar for two years despite not turning a profit on it. He expressed optimism for the future, mentioning the potential of the new CEO of MetService, Stephen Hunt, to bring the government's attention to the issue.
"I'm really optimistic.
"The new CEO, Stephen Hunt, of MetService is going to be the person to bring this all together and really make the government take a close look at it," he stated.
As the world of weather forecasting in New Zealand faces various challenges, the importance of understanding and respecting these natural phenomena is paramount.
Listen to the full chat between WeatherWatch CEO Phil Duncan and Dominic George above.