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Damaging Tornado hits Westland

05-Apr-2005

Damaging Tornado hits Westland- as forecast by MetService

MetService advice of the possibility of tornadoes over the Westland and Fiordland coasts was successfully borne out on Monday afternoon. A tornado swirled into the Westland township of Runanga, about 10km north of Greymouth, ripping off two roofs but causing little other damage. It was spawned by heavy, squally showers that belonged to a cold front crossing the South Island. Reports state that it came from the southern end of Rapahoe beach, 5km away, and cut a path up the side of the valley.

The MetService severe thunderstorm outlook issued at 8:50am on Monday morning went for a "moderate risk of severe thunderstorms during Monday afternoon and possible damaging tornadoes, mainly coastal."

"These severe thunderstorms outlooks produce maps showing general regions of possibility where thunderstorms may develop", commented MetService Weather Ambassador, Bob McDavitt. "Tornadoes in New Zealand usually are over in ten minutes or less, and that doesn't give us enough time to produce much detail in terms of actual strike location or timing. They can only be identified and tracked by means of a powerful weather radar network. "

Severe thunderstorms outlooks are available from the MetService web site at www.metservice.com and updated at lease twice a day.

ENDS

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