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#270155 25-Apr-2020 20:47
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How does this happen?

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/121145008/two-days-warning-for-massive-wellington-waves-but-nobody-raised-alarm

 

NIWA and the Met Service knew it was coming but no one bothered to alert the Wellington City Council.

 

Niwa forecasting principal scientist Chris Brandolino confirmed that two days out from Wednesday models were predicting four to six metre waves.

 

But there was no plan in place for Niwa to warn Wellington City Council: "Niwa would be happy to help if people wanted to have a conversation with us,"  Brandolino said.

 

MetService issued wave warnings if requested by councils and sent Greater Wellington council a warning of the same waves hitting Lake Ferry. But the city council had not signed up to received warnings, he said.

 

My translation of these two statements is they haven't paid for the service therefore we don't tell them. Nice attitude, peoples lives were at risk.

 

I though our taxes paid for the Met Service, obviously not.





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  #2471313 25-Apr-2020 21:20
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BDFL - Memuneh
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  #2471316 25-Apr-2020 21:33
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I don't understand it the same way... "MetService issued wave warnings if requested by councils and sent Greater Wellington council a warning of the same waves hitting Lake Ferry. But the city council had not signed up to received (sic) warnings, he said." sounds to me this information is available but the council did not nominate anyone to receive it in case of warnings - the paper doesn't say anywhere "the council did not want to pay for it" and don't even make it clear it's paid (as you assume).





 

 

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  #2471322 25-Apr-2020 21:57
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freitasm:

 

I don't understand it the same way... "MetService issued wave warnings if requested by councils and sent Greater Wellington council a warning of the same waves hitting Lake Ferry. But the city council had not signed up to received (sic) warnings, he said." sounds to me this information is available but the council did not nominate anyone to receive it in case of warnings - the paper doesn't say anywhere "the council did not want to pay for it" and don't even make it clear it's paid (as you assume).

 

 

Fair comment. I'll try and phrase things another way

 

Why do the councils have to request these warnings? Regularly we hear of Severe Weather warnings on the weather forecasts we get on the radio and TV, without us having to ask for them. Even if the council hadn't nominated anyone, how hard is it to pick up the phone and call the council to let them know, especially in a case like this?

 

Perhaps my thinking is coloured by what I've seen go on in the background with weather forecasting in some other areas and I have used this experience to deduce what might have happened here. I know for a fact both NIWA and the Met Service go around hawking their wares with "niche" products they wish to up sell. To some extent I don't have a problem with them doing this, but for them to not to attempt to warn of an event that potentially threatens lives is another thing in my opinion.

 

Perhaps the Met Service and NIWA are not totally at fault, perhaps it's the system they/we are saddled with. Which ever it is, it is broken.





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  #2471350 26-Apr-2020 06:15
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freitasm:

 

 sounds to me this information is available but the council did not nominate anyone to receive it in case of warnings

 

 

This must be the case.

Predictive information on waves - I'm talking specifics like face and swell height, period, direction, tidal adjustments - is available all over the place.

As a surfer, I used to keep an eye on developing conditions - a week or two out - that might set up one of my favourite spots.
Then I'd check out one of the sites (like swellmap) take a couple of days and head to somewhere with sunshine, a gentle offshore breeze and 6' sets rolling in..

Pretty sure Wellington Council will now nominate someone to stick up their hand and say "hey, we're going to be hammered by 6m swells next Wednesday"


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  #2471353 26-Apr-2020 06:36
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Reading the linked article, the council admitted that even if it had received the info it had no-one who's job it was to act on the info for some reason despite it happening prior in the 2013.




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  #2471430 26-Apr-2020 11:07
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Sidestep:

 

freitasm:

 

 sounds to me this information is available but the council did not nominate anyone to receive it in case of warnings

 

 

This must be the case.

Predictive information on waves - I'm talking specifics like face and swell height, period, direction, tidal adjustments - is available all over the place.

As a surfer, I used to keep an eye on developing conditions - a week or two out - that might set up one of my favourite spots.
Then I'd check out one of the sites (like swellmap) take a couple of days and head to somewhere with sunshine, a gentle offshore breeze and 6' sets rolling in..

Pretty sure Wellington Council will now nominate someone to stick up their hand and say "hey, we're going to be hammered by 6m swells next Wednesday"

 

 

Sites like that make perfect sense for a user like you and me, but it doesn't make sense for an organisation like the WCC to have someone looking through sites like that to glean this sort of information. Remember swell heights are not the only severe weather related threats, high rainfall and high winds are others. This person would need to be looking at all of these different sources if they were to do as you suggest. Why expend that effort when the work is already being done by the likes of the Met Service or NIWA?

 

While the WCC may have admitted they didn't have anyone nominated to receive this information that doesn't stop the information being passed along to the WCC who, by looking at their website, have an Emergency Management team who could act on such information.





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  #2476282 4-May-2020 13:48
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"Wave warning system on the way"

 

 

A wave-warning alert system has been initiated on Wellington’s south coast and exposed parts of Wellington Harbour, including the Eastbourne-Pencarrow coast, as a result of the damage caused in Owhiro Bay last month by big swells driving through Cook Strait.

 

MetService is to provide the swell warning to the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council and Hutt City Council. Additionally, MetService will provide trial access to its oceanographic portal for six months, developed specifically for maritime and governmental agencies by their sister company, MetOcean Solutions, for forecasting offshore and near shore wave conditions.

 

The initial agreement was reached on Friday in a second meeting involving Owhiro Bay Residents Association representative Eugene Doyle, representatives from MetService, WREMO and the City Council, and Paekawakawa Southern Ward Councillors Fleur Fitzsimons and Laurie Foon.

 

It is intended that MetService data would be used to provide public warnings to seaside communities and to residents’ associations. Representatives from the organisations will meet to discuss details of the trial in the next week or so.

 

Mayor Andy Foster says: “I’d like to congratulate Eugene and all the parties who’ve got together in the past couple of weeks and worked hard towards this initiative.”

 

Mayor Foster adds the new warning system will undoubtedly be looked at with interest by councils and emergency organisations in other parts of the country.

 

Meanwhile WREMO staff have undertaken to provide a report in a week’s time that will cover what happened, what needs to be done to improve the current alert system, and what else can be done with South Coast communities to help reduce risk and improve their level of preparedness. City Council officers also undertook to take advice on the feasibility of managing the grade of the beach following requests from some local residents, who felt this might mitigate future events.

 

Mayor Foster adds he also intends to discuss with Council staff the implications of the wave damage to the track from Owhiro Bay to Paiwhero Red Rocks and tackling the build-up of gravel under the Owhiro Stream bridge. Hutt City Council says it welcomes the wave-warning initiative.

 

The group that met on Friday via teleconference will meet again this Friday 8 May.

 





 

 

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  #2476319 4-May-2020 14:20
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freitasm:

 

"Wave warning system on the way"

 

 

Practical resolution that hopefully will be used by other Local Bodies.

The site I referenced "SwellMap" is owned and operated by MetOcean Solutions Ltd, a division of The Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd (MetService)

Now they'll be getting that good wave data..


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