+ TRN’s Weather Watch Centre leads with Tornado Warnings
Wednesday’s wild weather across the North Island was certainly one to remember. A total of 3 reported Tornadoes struck New Plymouth, Botany in Auckland and Tauranga consecutively. Roofs were lifted, fences and cars damaged and several people injured. “It’s almost unheard of to get three damaging tornadoes in New Zealand within just a few hours” says the Radio Networks head weather analyst Philip Duncan. “Over the past couple of weeks the air pressure over New Zealand has continued to drop, when that happens the air becomes very unstable and it allows storms like this to rapidly and unexpectedly develop”.
Duncan says we’re not in the clear yet either. “While it’s unlikely to see a repeat of Wednesday’s storms, more severe weather is on the way Friday as yet another low deepens out in the Tasman Sea, lowering the air pressure over the North Island even further”. Heavy rain, with further thunderstorms are possible, although it’s too early to predict whether thunderstorms will be severe enough to affect these regions again.
Following on from Friday’s unstable weather in the North will be a sudden cold snap in southern and eastern areas. MetService is predicting snow to sea level in the far south and down to 400 metres in the North Island.
Quick to respond
The surprise and unpredicted tornadoes have also highlighted the importance of vital, speedy weather updates during severe weather. The Radio Network’s Weather Watch Centre lead with the tornado warnings, well before any other forecaster, including the NZ Government. “Basically in these conditions, when things are rapidly changing, getting these updates out as soon as possible is vital. That’s why the Weather Watch Centre and Radio work so well together – as updates can reach the public instantly” remarked Philip Duncan.
Bad weather forecast to arrive on Thursday, Friday and Saturday could affect travel plans as snow falls to low levels in both Islands. The Weather Watch Centre will be closely monitoring the conditions and will update as needed.