News: New service for heavy swell warnings

MetService is introducing a heavy swell warnings service which is expected to particularly benefit coastal communities.

The service has been available for Wellington’s South Coast for some time but is now being rolled out to the Greater Wellington region, including Kāpiti and the Wairarapa.

In the Wairarapa, coverage will apply from Turakirae Head to Mataikona.

MetService is encouraging people that live, work, or recreate in coastal areas within the region to sign up to receive severe weather email alerts when swell thresholds are met by visiting

MetService Marine Weather Services Manager, Michael Martens said the service had worked closely with the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO), Greater Wellington Regional Council, and councils throughout the region.

“We provide these agencies with key information on forecasted heavy swell events and are delighted to introduce a system which directly provides communities in the Wellington region with real-time information on heavy swell events.”

WREMO Regional Manager Jeremy Holmes says from an emergency management point of view, this new warning system will give coastal residents time to get their whānau and properties prepared before a heavy swell arrives.

“We have seen, particularly on Wellington’s South Coast, the impacts heavy swells can have on people and properties when they arrive without warning. Thanks to the collaborative effort of everyone involved, this warning system will help ensure the safety of coastal residents, as well as lessen the damage to their properties.”

The warnings display the combined wave, swell and wind wave height, direction, and wave period (for combined waves and swell only), atmospheric pressure, high tide information and the time the warning is in place for.

MetService will continue to work closely with coastal hazards specialists at regional councils and emergency management providers throughout New Zealand, to introduce a national wave warning service by late 2022.

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