by Zoe Hawkins
Screen shot of the real time wind observations - displayed on a PC/Mac screen. A mobile application is also available to give subscribers instant weather in their pockets.
Real-time observations of wind speed and direction are now available from 84 weather stations throughout New Zealand, thanks to a new partnership between Auckland company PredictWind and the New Zealand MetService.
Auckland company PredictWind and the New Zealand MetService have this week announced a service that makes real time observations of wind data available for as little as $1.60 per month, via PredictWind’s website and Android and iPhone Apps.
The launch of the service also marks the completion of the first stage in PredictWind's plans to roll out observational data for thousands of weather stations worldwide.
Predictwind can graph real-time observations from 1-24 hour periods
PredictWind makes technology that is proven in the competitive world of grand prix yacht racing accessible to recreational racing and cruising sailors, fishermen, kayakers and other water users. Since the company first commercialised its America's Cup winning wind prediction technology in 2008, it has gathered a following of more than 50,000 subscribers worldwide, eager to utilise its accurate and detailed wind forecast services.
Now users can check the accuracy of forecasts by viewing real time weather station data that is updated every minute.
'The presentation of real time wind data is a critical part of the decision making process for racing sailors, cruising sailors, and powerboaters,' says founder Jon Bilger.
'Being able to look at real time trends in wind speed and direction, enables our customers to make better decisions on the water. Like, is the wind speed still increasing, or has it reached the peak? The comparison of the real time weather data and the PredictWind forecast can give the customer a huge level of confidence in the forecast.'
Under the partnership, PredictWind displays wind speed and direction at one minute intervals, taken from each MetService weather station from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island. Data is also taken from the well known Coastguard Nowcasting stations such as Bean Rock, Manukau Heads, Tiri and Channel Island, which are long relied on by boaties as important measures of current conditions.
'We have designed the technology for the average boatie who wants to see what is happening now, like they can with their VHF, but also get a snapshot of the trend over the last six hours,' says Jon Bilger.
Predictwind uses real-time weather data provided from 84 MetService stations around NZ.
The weather station data can be graphed for the last 1, 6 or 48 hour periods. Individual weather stations can be graphed, or compared with other stations. The weather data can also be animated on Google Maps to see variations over the surrounding areas.
'Wherever you are, you want weather information that’s both relevant and useful,' says MetService’s general manager communications Jacqui Bridges. 'Teaming up with PredictWind is a great way for MetService to get this data to boaties where and when they most need it, be it for safety or sporting success.'
PredictWind services, including forecasting, routing, boat tracking and weather alerts, can be obtained on a free or paid basis from www.predictwind.com, and the PredictWind App can be downloaded from the iPhone/iPad or Android App stores.