Very High Resolution Future Case Studies

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Very High Resolution Future Case Studies

State Active
Duration 2019 – 2024
Budget / Funding $716000
Project Leader(s)
Richard Flay
The University of Auckland


Decision-making and planning to mitigate the impact of extreme weather in Aotearoa New Zealand is based on weather models and hazard assessments using the latest modelling technology.

Project description

The latest computer modelling techniques allow us to improve our understanding of the likelihood and impacts of the hazards caused by high impact weather. We aim to give planners and decision makers detailed estimates of how future extreme weather events are likely to affect Aotearoa New Zealand.

To achieve this, we are developing new models and tools to take advantage of the advanced detail provided by very high resolution weather computer models. We are also studying past events such as recent ex-tropical cyclones and their impacts on communities and assets.

Our models will describe the weather intensities of three extreme weather scenarios:

  • a severe ex-tropical cyclone hitting the city of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, rural Northland, and the coastal Hauraki plains region.
  • a large-scale wildfire at the urban edge of Wānaka, exacerbated by pre-existing drought.
  • a major winter storm in the South Island.

We are also collaborating with the Deep South Challenge to understand how the frequency and severity of such events are likely to change under future climate change.

Our goal is for our improved forecasts of the likelihood and impacts of extreme weather events to help emergency management planners and other decision-makers identify the most effective ways to mitigate future losses caused by high impact weather.

Resource Outputs from this project


Risk perception and preparedness in a high-wildfire risk community: case study of Northern Wānaka/Albert Town, Otago

What actions that will lead to improved preparedness for living with an increasing wildfire risk?

View Report

Predictive model comparison on a well-documented wildfire event in New Zealand.

Testing the Prometheus fire spread prediction model using real wildfire data.

View Report

A review of computational fluid dynamics application to investigate tropical cyclone wind speeds

Adhering to the best practice guidelines established by wind engineers can improve the quality of cyclone modelling and associated research.

View Article

Impact-based severe weather warnings for Aotearoa New Zealand

Our Weather & Wildfire researchers Dr Richard Turner (NIWA) and social scientists Dr Sally Potter and Dr Sara Harrison (GNS Science) introduce impact-based weather warnings.

View Webinar

Coupling High-Resolution Numerical Weather Prediction and Computational Fluid Dynamics: Auckland Harbour Case Study.

Safaei Pirooz, Amir A., Stuart Moore, Richard Turner, and Richard G.J. Flay. 2021. "Coupling High-Resolution Numerical Weather Prediction and Computational Fluid Dynamics: Auckland Harbour Case…

View Article
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