A narrow front is moving onto the west coast of the North Island this afternoon and with conditions the same as yesterday WeatherWatch.co.nz is still predicting a “low to moderate” risk of an isolated tornado.
Today MetService has also added tornado to their Severe Thunderstorm Outlook.
Yesterday two waterspouts, one quite large, moved near Auckland airport over Manukau Harbour hours after WeatherWatch.co.nz exclusively warned authorities of the risk.
“Conditions this week are very similar to other times we’ve seen tornado and waterspout activity around the western North Island. While there’s generally a fairly moderate risk of a tornado forming today the risk of one hitting your home is still very low” says head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
“The safest thing you can do is simply to keep an eye on the sky and get into a small room, like a closet, should you be unfortunate enough to be in the path of a tornado or major thunderstorm”.
Civil Defence says 20 to 30 tornadoes are seen in NZ each year, most small scale but as we’ve seen in the past they can cause significant damage and even fatalities.
Many tornadoes form in rural areas where no one can see them, or less likely to be captured on iPhones, social media etc.
“We have pockets of severe weather yesterday and today. For the most part people will have a downpour and a rumble of thunder and that’s about it – but there will be pockets of more severe weather which could see flash flooding, hail and small scale tornadoes”..
As of 11:50am the Lightning Tracker was showing thunder activity hugging the western North Island.
as of 11:50am the front was moving into Northland and hugging Auckland’s west coast.
This afternoon could see pockets of severe weather unfolding – WeatherWatch.co.nz will continue to track this system very closely.