Tornados rip through North Island

Destroyed house National Park. Photo: Ruapehu District Council.

A low is bringing snow to the South, and rain, gales, lightning and tornados are hitting the North Island from the west, cutting power to thousands and ripping roofs off homes.

Tauranga can expect the weather system to arrive about lunchtime as a complex trough crosses the Central North Island.

Tauranga is on watch for severe wind, but is on warning for severe thunderstorms.

The thunderstorms are associated with the complex trough in front of the low pressure system and is expected to arrive over Tauranga about lunchtime, says MetService meteorologist April Clark.

Associated with the trough are strong winds and heavy rain which may be localised.

The winds associated with the trough are the most immediate concern, gusts could cause structural damage, knock down trees, affect power supplies and make driving hazardous.

“We are expecting that to be in the afternoon for Tauranga when those strong gusts with those thunderstorms will be happening. It’s not looking too bad for you guys at the moment.

“That will be early afternoon. It’s not too far away from you guys now, and then after that the wind will be turning south west.”

The south westerlies are expected to strengthen into the evening as they start funnelling through, and there will be a drop in temperature.

Meanwhile, tornados were spotted in Opunake and National Park Village, with Civil Defence reporting widespread damage including houses losing roofs.

At least nine schools in the area closed for the day due to the weather, and several flights in and out of New Plymouth were cancelled.

A road snowfall warning has been issued for the Central Plateau - SH1, SH49, SH4, SH47, SH46 - and the Napier-Taupo Road.

The NZTA is asking road users to take extra care while travelling, "as snow and ice can make the road more hazardous, especially in shaded areas and on bridge decks".

 Photo from Tongariro taken by Damien Lee Kenyon.


There are no comments on this article.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now