MetService marks three years of the 'red warning' system

Source: 1News

MetService's 'Red' warning was designed to prepare the public for the worst weather events, and scientists say it could be used more often in the future.

In its three years of existence, the red warning status has been used seven times to let the public know of major weather events.

Of those seven uses, six have been in the last year, and that rate looks set to increase according to climate scientist Professor David Frame.

"I think it's the kind of thing that will become a bit more necessary as we experience events we haven't seen before," he said.

READ MORE: MetService lifts Red Warning for heavy rain across much of flood-hit Canterbury

"They could be extreme rainfall events, or hot events even, or storms, and all sorts of things".

Gary Knowles, Director of Civil Defence for New Zealand, feels the system is serving its purpose well.

"They give us a real chance prior to major and severe events to plan."

MetService Severe Weather Manager Elke Louw said: "We work closely with regional councils ahead of issuing the Red Warnings and during the events to understand local concerns."

"The more forewarning, we can provide, the more time communities have to prepare and stay safe."

A red warning was used ahead of the Canterbury floods last year and for West and East coast storms.