Councillor wants Metservice to give official readings

By Mike Dinsdale


A Whangarei district councillor wants the MetService to start taking "official" temperatures from central Whangarei rather than the airport at Onerahi to give a "true" indication of how warm the city is.

Tourism Development Group chairman and district councillor Jeroen Jongejans said the official Whangarei temperatures - the ones seen on TV every night - are recorded at Whangarei Airport, but the temperature in the city was often a degree or three higher than at the airport.

Mr Jongejans said he would ask the council to back his call as a way of attracting more visitors and residents to the region.

MetService media and communications meteorologist Daniel Corbett said there were precedents for cities to have their official weather data collecting sites moved, with Dunedin doing so several years ago.

Mr Corbett said MetService would happily consider such a request from the WDC, but said there would be some costs associated with such a move.

"Dunedin has two [sites that collect weather] at the airport and the city so it has been done before.

I think it cost up to $15,000 to set up another site and there are ongoing costs, but yeah, we'll happily consider it if they ask," he said.

"We prefer to use airports so accurate weather data can be supplied for the safety of aircraft, rather than the temperature aspect. But if the airport is on the coast, as in Whangarei, it will always be a degree or two cooler than inland because of the sea breeze."

The MetService records Whangarei's official temperature in a shaded, louvred box at Whangarei Airport to prevent any inaccuracies from reflecting heat.

Mr Jongejans said the council was in the business of attracting more visitors, businesses and residents and having accurate information about how hot the city got would help.

-- NIWA's climate summary for 2012 revealed Whangarei's average temperature of 15.8C was much higher than New Zealand's 12.5C.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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