May 3, 2011

This afternoon’s tornado at Albany was a terrible event for those people affected.

“We forecast a band of thunderstorms to cross northern New Zealand today, and had increased the risk of thunderstorms occurring in this area to High on our Severe Thunderstorm Outlook issued earlier in the day,” said MetService Chief Forecaster Peter Kreft.

“In New Zealand tornadoes are very small, localised events. Because they’re much smaller than the tornados that occur, for example, in the Midwest of the United States, and sometimes occur without accompanying thunder and lightning, they’re difficult to detect let alone track,” he said.

The Severe Thunderstorm Outlook has been updated to remove the risk of any further damaging tornadoes over Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty, although a slim risk of smaller, less active tornadoes does still exist in some of these areas.

The latest weather forecasts, watches and warnings can be found on the web at or, for mobiles, at

For further information please contact:
Peter Kreft        Chief Forecaster                  (04)4700 806

(C) Copyright Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd 2011

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