Media release

New rain radar proves valuable during heavy rainfall event

Thursday 10 June 2021

The new MetService rain radar near Hindon gave ORC staff confidence in rainfall levels and flood risks during the event that inundated parts of Canterbury last week.

Otago Regional Council (ORC) staff say the new MetService rain radar demonstrated its value for the region when rainfall put it through its paces in early June.

Manager Natural Hazards Jean-Luc Payan said staff were monitoring rainfall and river flows in Otago throughout the event that affected large parts of Canterbury.

“Our duty flood officers kept a close eye on rainfall and river data, as rain inundated Canterbury and was approaching warning levels over parts of Otago. While we saw the Taieri and Pomahaka River flows increase, we had much more confidence about the level of rain falling over Otago thanks to the new radar near Hindon.”

The rain radar does not predict rainfall amounts, but supports other data inputs to give staff a much clearer and more detailed picture about how much rain is falling in the region, and where – particularly for coastal rainfall events, Dr Payan said.

Manager Severe Weather Services at MetService, Elke Louw, said, “The Otago radar provides our meteorologists added confidence on the distribution of rainfall across eastern areas of the South Island. Real-time information is particularly important during high-impact weather events.”

This rainfall event was one of the first major use cases for the new radar, which became operational in December 2020. The radar is the first in Otago, and the tenth in MetService’s national network.

To view live imagery from MetService’s Otago rain radar, visit

ORC’s rainfall and river flow data can also be viewed online, at