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Tornado risk returns to North Island (+Maps)

UPDATED — Following’s prediction late this morning of possible tornado activity in the upper North Island on Friday afternoon and evening, MetService has this afternoon updated their thunderstorm outlook to also include a risk of small tornados tomorrow.

The Top Half of the North Island is in for more heavy rain and thunderstorms say forecasters as yet another Tasman Sea low develops.

This week’s low, which was responsible for record heat on the West Coast, severe gales in the Far North, slips and flooding in Coromandel Peninsula, thousands of lightning strikes and the deadly Albany tornado has now moved into the Southern Ocean and is finally leaving our shores.

But a new low is now forming in the Tasman Sea and over the next 36 hours it will cover much of the country and eastern Tasman Sea. believes thunderstorms are particularly likely in Northland, Coromandel Peninsula and Taranaki on Friday afternoon or evening but may well spread into other regions in the north too – agreeing with the Metservice charts below.

Some showers, like earlier this week, will be heavy and squally with damaging gales possible during sudden down bursts – but these will be isolated.  

Conditions may be generally calm but with little warnings winds could rise to damaging gale during squalls. believes the risk of further small tornadoes is “low, but possible”.

And yet another Tasman Sea low is forecast for next week. says this means more warm, humid, winds from the northerly quarter.

Some models show next weeks low pulling down warm, humid, air as far north as New Caledonia.

“Certainly we are well above average with our temperatures in many regions at the moment” says Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan.  “If May continues at this rate I have no doubt we’ll be challenging if not breaking numerous records for May warmth”.

Metservice is predicting thunderstorms for the upper North Island regions on Friday.  See their updated maps below.

– Funded by NZ Govt




Guest on 5/05/2011 11:25pm

As the mother of a school aged child what is the likelihood of Tornadoes in Auckland He is scared stiff as his mum also suffered a stroke so worries that i will not be able to move quick enough
Thank you

WW Forecast Team on 6/05/2011 1:41am

Very low risk of any tornadoes – and if the risk was high the risk would still be low for one actually hitting your home.  Just keep an eye on the skies if you’re feeling unsure.  Extra dark clouds or particularly low clouds, sometimes a funny smell in the air, they can all be signs of severe weather – if you notice that then simply just be aware of your surroundings.  But you don’t have to worry about today – most of the activity is in eastern BOP, East Cape and later Taranaki and Nelson ranges.

– WW

westcoast on 5/05/2011 8:29pm

The hot spot is the Bay of Plenty, especially between Te Puke and Whakatane
in the next couple of hours
as a small and developing low moves down from the north

Guest on 5/05/2011 8:08am

Hey ww is the tornado warning for Auckland aswell, as metservice has put one in place? Thanks in advance.

Sue on 5/05/2011 4:35am

Tornado warnings – oh my goodness – ma nature please give NZ a break!!

Also we had a whole heap of foggy misty stuff that didnt really shift till very late this afternoon. Rolled in last night and was quite wierd. What causes this stuff to hang round all day even when the sun is shining? Many thanks.


westcoast on 5/05/2011 10:14am

the sun is not as strong now (only 6 weeks to the shortest day now)
and the fog/low cloud is very white and so reflects back the heat/light
and so it takes a while before the surface layer warms up to above the dew point (which is relatively high at the moment (14 to 15C)

richardmcb on 5/05/2011 1:22am

Whats the chance of the thunder actually reaching us in the west this time?

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