Yet another waterspout off Papamoa beach, Mt Maunganui (Mayor Island in background). This waterspout was about 2kms offshore and visible for around 20 minutes. Smaller waterspouts were also seen trying to form. Photo / Neill Ellis.
It was deja vu for residents in Mt Maunganui and Papamoa yesterday afternoon as yet another dramatic waterspout caught the eyes of residents along the coastline just over a week since the last one. This photo, captured by weather watcher Neill Ellis, clearly shows the water being sucked up by the waterspout.
Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says Wednesday’s waterspout wasn’t as severe as last Monday’s but shows the air around New Zealand is still very unstable. “We have really seen winter starting about 2 weeks early this year. You could almost say we’ve been robbed of Autumn going from an Indian summer straight in to an early winter”.
It’s not surprising that Mr Duncan is declaring an early start to winter. Yesterday snow fell in both Dunedin and Christchurch with wind chills of minus 8 affecting the Garden City in the afternoon, with some suburbs only making 3 degrees as their high.
Gales roared up the eastern coastline and straight into Wellington where bitterly cold southerlies gusted over 100km/h. Gales continued around Wellington late Tuesday night and may well return again on Friday.
By late Wednesday evening most places in New Zealand were in single digits with many near zero. All South Island main centres were 4 degrees or below at 9pm with only Invercargill on a ‘balmy’ 6.
The North Island was also gripped under the wintry chill with all centres in single digits except Whangarei and Kaikohe on 11. In Auckland it was just 6.9 degrees at 9pm.
Mr Duncan says it’s incredibly rare to have just 2 main centres in double digits during a May evening.
During Thursday the low to the east will drift over the Chatham Islands but on Friday it’s expected to deepen and move back closer to New Zealand creating strong southerlies again especially from Wellington to Gisborne – gales are possible around Wellington and Cook Strait later in the day.
Pre-teen highs are expected over much of New Zealand today with only a few northern and north eastern places likely to reach in to the teens – certainly rare for May says Duncan.
Snow on the north side of Mt Taranaki/Egmont and Pouakai Range yesterday evening. Photo by Sue Martin-Smith who says she’s never seen the snow so low before.
On Friday a weak cold front will see a surge of showers spreading north reaching Auckland during the afternoon and helping bring colder air for Saturday in most places.
WeatherWatch.co.nz expects a large high to start to drift over the country during the weekend bringing frosty conditions and clearing skies.
What’s it like outside your window today? Post a new comment below!
on 21/05/2009 12:18am
We had a small twister form just off Mt Te Aroha yesterday at about 3:30pm as it got half way up the mountain it started to break down and we also had hail before it formed.
Today on the golf course we had quite a heavy frost with a temp of -1 at 06:30am and at the moment its 9.8.
on 20/05/2009 9:36pm
…Apparently there was ice on a few cars on the shore earlier this morning…
…’robbed of Autumn going from an Indian summer straight in to an early winter’
…in response to this comment – I’d say – ‘robbed of an Indian summer’. The events up here on the shore – was early summer, mixed bag from March, cold easter and now winter…
on 20/05/2009 6:42pm
Phil just letting you know thats its 3.1c Here on the Shore at 6.30am this morning…..