The times they are a-changin’, and we’re making big changes to be out front of it all with our new Alerting App being released very soon (in fact, in just a few weeks!). This new Alerting App will be a game changer for NZ, allowing you to set the criteria for your local WeatherWatch and RuralWeather 10 day forecast to notify your device in advance of specific weather. (Ie, i want to know when it’s over 20 degrees at my place, or, I want to know when rain will be over 20mm in a day etc). We’ve been using this technology internally with our largest clients for several years and now it’s time to make it available for ALL New Zealanders.
The new alerting service is designed so that weather forecasts/data from WeatherWatch and RuralWeather (along with official watches and warnings from MetService) will alert you at certain thresholds you get to set – bringing the weather to life in your area in a way not seen before in NZ. It’s all about fewer nasty surprises for you.
We had originally aimed to launch a year ago, but MetService came to the party to help bring their watches and warnings to life and so after another several months of testing we’re thrilled to announce we’re launching in December 2023.
We also have future plans with MetService rain radar and live lightning push alerts – watch this space – but first we need to get this new Alerting App launched and grow public support behind it. We look forward to officially launching it in December – with both free and paid tiers. Having MetService endorse what we’re doing has meant a great deal to us too, as we try to provide a private and public partnership that truly helps all New Zealanders when it comes to the weather and climate.
So, what are the big changes coming?
!NEW ALERTING APP
Launching in December 2023, it will replace the old app which is no longer functioning properly. The new Alerting App has huge upgrades for free features as we merge both RuralWeather and WeatherWatch into this app. It also has your own dashboard where you can select the layout and drop and drag items to change the order or remove/add them. It’s not only a New Zealand first, but IBM has confirmed what we’ve built is a WORLD first!
Old App changing to NEW APP
As some users of our current free app have discovered, it’s past it’s best before date now. The original app – the first of it’s kind in New Zealand over a decade ago – will be replaced this December by our new Alerting App, which has the endorsement of MetService (and includes all their warnings and alerts – both for free in your forecast, or paid services to have them pushed to your device). We’ll have more details about our new app in the weeks ahead.
No more Daily National Forecast on our news page
Starting in 2010 we’ve prepared a national forecast almost each and every day covering region by region. When we started this back in 2010 it was a fantastic new detailed service for New Zealanders, but in 2023 this has become as out of date as the forecast in a newspaper (where the information is prepared the day prior). With so many detailed forecasts and maps on our website this “national news forecast” service has become obsolete, which has also been reflected in the numbers over the years. It was also a service funded by legacy media clients who have either downsized or gone. So it’s time to modernise and drop this older service. Currently the daily national forecasts are published in our news page in the early hours of each morning, but they will cease as of Dec 1, 2023. Our daily videos and maps cover this far better than manually writing it a day in advance – and our new newsfeed (see below!) will still help you know what’s on the way today and tomorrow.
!NEW Daily Newsfeed
We’re getting more and more into news and alerts, so we’re shifting away from having three set news headlines a day published at 7am, and we’re heading towards more news bullet points, simple maps and links. This is because when the weather is quiet we’re sometimes generating news for the sake of creating three headlines. When the weather is quiet sometimes there isn’t much news – but when it’s stormy, people expect more detail. Our new Newsfeed will provide you with a brief understanding of the day ahead… then it will be added to should more news develop across the day. It keeps all news updates in one clean feed for each day. There will still be occasional additional news stories put on our site – but this news feed is to make one “home” for all the bits and pieces that pop up each and every day. We also hope to bring this into a push notification form later in 2025, so you can have news updates pushed to you.
We’re bringing social media updates into WeatherWatch & RuralWeather
As part of the new Daily Newsfeed (mentioned just above) starting on Dec 1, this will also give us a new home to include social media updates across the day, which currently often don’t even appear on our websites. If you’re not following us on Insta, Facebook or X then you may often miss these updates. So, in 2024 we’ll be sharing more of these in the NEW WeatherWatch Daily Newsfeed – and our plan in 2024 is to shift from having specific updates exclusive to social media and provide all updates directly out of the WeatherWatch News Centre – so it appears on WeatherWatch, RuralWeather and also our new Alerting APp. (And yes, part of this is being driven by pressure from some people for us to also quit the X platform).
!NEW VIDEO content
Our YouTube channel is rapidly growing. We’ve had three quarters of a million people watch our video updates in just the month of November alone! Thank you for your amazing support! Our most recent Australia-only video had had almost 200K views in just a few days. As we expand our video services we’re also improving our content.
NEW FOR NEW ZEALAND: Starting from November (today in fact!) each and every Monday will now have a 7-Day New Zealand-only outlook PLUS a 7 Day Upcoming Rainfall Map. This will be an exclusive first for any weather provider in New Zealand.
This also means farmers, growers and event planners will have a decent understanding as to what is on the way for the coming week.
2 x ADDITIONAL VIDEOS:
PACIFIC ISLANDS: We’re also now providing 7 Day Weekly outlooks every TUESDAY for the PACIFIC ISLANDS (including Hawaii).
AUSTRALIA: And we’re also now providing a 7 Day Outlook for AUSTRALIA-ONLY every THURSDAY.
All via WeatherWatchTV on YouTube and displayed on our new Alerting App and both our websites.
We have plans to continue to grow our video content, not just outside of New Zealand but also here at home too in 2025.
Your support means the world to us! Thank you.
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