New Zealand’s weather service signs deal with Al Jazeera

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New Zealand’s national meteorological service, MetService, has landed a contract to provide its weather graphics to Al Jazeera Media Network.

The three-year deal will see MetService’s innovative weather graphics system, Weatherscape XT, used in TV weather forecasts for the Qatar-based global news network’s audience of 566 million households worldwide. As part of the deal MetService will also provide weather data for 3,000 cities around the world covered by Al Jazeera.

MetService chief executive Peter Lennox said he was proud to be adding Al Jazeera to the organization’s list of clients. “This is a great example of MetService exporting Kiwi smarts to the world,” said Lennox.

MetService’s Weatherscape broadcast product was developed 25 years ago in conjunction with Television New Zealand. Since then it has been used by the BBC and by broadcasters in Australia and New Zealand.

MetService, which operates internationally as MetraWeather, was first contacted by Al Jazeera seven months ago.

MetService meteorologists and Weatherscape developers used large quantities of WMO-certified global weather data to customize Al Jazeera’s weather shows. As part of the process two system engineers were deployed to Doha to install hardware and train technicians and TV presenters in how to operate the system.

“We learned a lot about the physics of dust and dust data sources, which is a unique factor specific to Middle East weather forecasting,” said MetService Weatherscape manager Neville Booth.

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