Crown Range weather station under construction
Construction of the state of the art weather station and webcam at the summit of the Crown Range has begun.
The project will offer road contractors and drivers a live feed of road conditions on one of New Zealand’s highest sealed alpine roads.
Resource consent for the project was received last month and is a joint venture between Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC), MetService and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), and is expected to be online and operational by mid-July.
The high-resolution data from the new station, where the road will be broken down into 30 metre segments, will enhance forecasts for the Crown Range and the wider Queenstown Lakes District to produce a new road snow warning service for the Crown Range road.
The high-definition panoramic web camera will be installed as part of the weather station and will offer the public an opportunity to check the conditions at the Crown Range summit, with images being refreshed in real time every four minutes.
QLDC policy, standards and asset planner Polly Lambert said the new services will help drivers to make better travel decisions.
“The Crown Range is regularly impacted by winter weather and conditions can be challenging for both residents and visitors alike. This information will be added to QLDC’s daily morning winter road report, as well as our social media channels and website, offering much greater visibility of the conditions up there,” Polly said.
MetService business development manager, key accounts Peter Fisher said,
“The new services promise to improve the support provided to QLDC. MetService is excited to deliver this innovative solution.”
“It’s the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and is specifically tailored to the district’s winter road-weather conditions,” Peter said.
NZTA journey manager Lee Wright said,
“Anything that will encourage road users to plan ahead and stay safe during the winter months is to be applauded. It is a very useful tool, working alongside the Transport Agency’s traffic and travel webpage, 0800 4 HIGHWAYS freephone service and social media as well as the QLDC’s excellent winter road reports and the information on MetService’s website."
Click for links: Wanaka Weather & Road Conditions
Cover photo: Crown Range (13 June 2017) Photo: Hayley Barbour
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