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“this is serious stuff…this is as severe as tornadoes get in New Zealand”


The risk of further Tornadoes remains high tonight across Taranaki as more bands of thundery showers move in.  Latest Satellite images provided by indicate significant isolated storms developing in the Tasman and heading onshore.  “While these tornadoes are isolated it’s important to remember that they are potentially deadly.  So far we’ve been lucky” says Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan, from the Radio Network.  “At this stage the main storms will be between New Plymouth and Wanganui”, indicating a shift to more southern regions of Taranaki and into the Wanganui region.
At 11:15pm, dramatic thunderstorms were rattling Hamilton along with strong winds and a significant hail storm.  “I’m currently in Hamilton and an eerie sunset this evening made me realise something significant was on the way”.
Thunderstorms are the forecast.  That’s the word from TRN’s Weather Watch Centre.  “Severe thunderstorms, big enough to produce more Tornadoes, are in the forecast for areas north of Taranaki and west of Bay of Plenty” says Philip Duncan.  “I can’t recall a time when Tornadoes were making the news in the actual forecast”.  
Duncan says severe thunderstorms and heavy showers were forecast during Friday with the risk rising to Extreme from late Friday morning until late Friday night.
“Severe storms like this form when cold air meets humid warm air.  What we have is a bitterly cold snap around central New Zealand meeting warm humid air in the north.  The zone where the two air masses collide is Taranaki and southern Waikato/western King Country” says Duncan.
“The risk for further twisters definitely remains very High during Friday for all western regions from Taranaki to Northland, especially from noon Friday to midnight Friday”.
What to do if a twister forms near you:
“Get indoors” says Philip Duncan.  “Most people are injured or even killed by flying or falling debris like roofing iron and trees”.
“Take refuge in the safest part of your house…the bathroom is usually a safe room, but a room on the opposite side of the house is just as good”.
“This is serious stuff…although small by American standards, this is as severe as twisters get in New Zealand”.



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