Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Will we ever be able to forecast tornadoes?

Will we ever be able to forecast tornadoes?

Will we ever be able to forecast tornadoes such as the one that hit Greymouth last week? "Not in any great detail," says MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt, "but we are working towards being able to identify the regions where tornadoes might occur."

"In the United States, where tornadoes can last longer than an hour and cause massive devastation, they have installed a comprehensive network of powerful Doppler weather radars making it possible to detect the formation and track of individual tornadoes. Even so, specific communities may only receive about 20 minutes warning of a touchdown."

McDavitt went on to say that tornadoes in New Zealand are usually very short lived, and most of them last less than ten minutes. "Tornado intensity is measured on the Fujita Scale which ranges from zero to five, the most intense. Our tornadoes are usually F0, but the Greymouth tornado was an F1 or an F2 and the fatal one that demolished a house near Waitara last year was likely to have been an F4."

Although specific tornado warnings are not yet possible, MetService has begun issuing advice of severe thunderstorms. "We now have a team of storm forecasters who are on the lookout for severe local storms that may produce torrential rain, hail and damaging winds. Westland was identified last Thursday as a region for possible thunderstorms. We can't give specific tornado touchdown forecasts. That would be like trying to forecast popcorn -we can say where the pot is, but we can't tell which part of it will pop."


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Half A Billion Accounts: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>


Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Payout As Global Supply Shrinks

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the dairy processor which will announce annual earnings tomorrow, hiked its forecast payout to farmers by 50 cents per kilogram of milk solids as global supply continues to decline, helping prop up dairy prices. More>>



Meat Trade: Silver Fern Farms Gets Green Light For Shanghai Maling Deal

The government has given the green light for China's Shanghai Maling Aquarius to acquire half of Silver Fern Farms, New Zealand's biggest meat company, with ministers satisfied it will deliver "substantial and identifiable benefit". More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news