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NIWA environmental information for sporting events

Press Release – NIWA

NIWA will be providing real-time observations and localised event forecasting for the 2010 World Rowing Championships, which begin at Lake Karapiro tomorrow.
29 October 2010

NIWA’s environmental information for sporting events is about to hit the world stage

NIWA will be providing real-time observations and localised event forecasting for the 2010 World Rowing Championships, which begin at Lake Karapiro tomorrow.

Using real-time data from NIWA’s weather stations on the Karapiro Dam and on a buoy on the course, and sophisticated computer modelling, NIWA will be able to provide detailed observations and forecasts of the course conditions to help organisers and competitors plan for the international event.

Local conditions will have a great impact on racing at the Championships. For example, if the wind is too strong the water will become choppy and the schedule of racing may be affected. NIWA will be able to give the organisers and competitors 10-minute observation updates and hourly forecast information about the temperature, wind (speed and direction), relative humidity, visibility, rain amounts, clouds, and even UV levels.

The forecasting is provided through EcoConnect, NIWA’s environmental forecasting and information service.

NIWA Principal Scientist Dr Mike Revell will also be on site at the course to provide regular briefings to the event organisers and the FISA (the international rowing federation) officials and give more detailed advice as required.

“NIWA is proud to be involved in such a big international sporting event in New Zealand. We have put specialised equipment in near the rowing course, both on the dam and in the water, to ensure the accuracy of our forecasting. This allows us to give very localised forecasts, ensuring we can get the most up-to-date information to the organisers and rowers to help plan for this worldwide event.”

“We will also be able to provide spectators with the UV risk. That’s particularly important for the international visitors who will be at the event and may not be as aware of our high UV risk as Kiwis are.”

Tom Mayo, chief executive of the World Rowing Championships 2010 organising committee, says, “Accurate forecasting is crucial to the smooth running of the regatta. NIWA’s expertise and commitment means we have access 24/7 to accurate, localised data. The service NIWA has put together is world class.”

NIWA is forecasting a freshening southeasterly wind (rising from 5 to 10 km/hr to 15 to 20 km/hr) with possible showers and a maximum temperature of 19 degrees on Saturday. On Sunday the winds will ease with fine conditions and a maximum of 18 degrees. Racing begins on Sunday the 31st of October.
The World Rowing Championships 2010 will be held from the 30th of October to the 7th of November at Lake Karapiro. More than 800 athletes from 49 countries will compete at the event, making the Championships the largest sporting event held in New Zealand since the Commonwealth Games in 1990.


For more information about the World Rowing Championships 2010 go to:

For more information about NIWA’s environmental and forecasting information service, and localised event forecasting – go to:

How to access NIWA’s forecasting at the 2010 World Rowing Championships:

NIWA will be providing all of its forecasting to media covering the World Rowing Championships 2010. To get the daily forecast sheet, go to the NIWA website: to download a copy.

Updates will be posted between 3 and 4 pm each day for the following day’s racing.


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