High winds whip up 'mini tornado'

MATT STEWART
WEATHER, SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT REPORTER
Last updated 14:42 05/10/2012

Relevant offers

Wellington Weather

Overnight squalls delay ferries Wellington misses out on snow Hail, thunder and snow coming for Wairarapa Rain, gales to hit Wellington Capital escapes wild storm Our winter of content NZ experiencing winter without bite Warm, windy night on the way Heavy rain heading south Wellington's first day of winter

High winds whipped up a ''mini-tornado'' in downtown Wellington this afternoon coating a shop and a cycle courier in swirls of dust.

Angelique Highgate, who works at Wishbone at the north end of Lambton Quay, said the intense whirling gust was ''kind of frightening'' and ''came out of nowhere.''

Ms Highgate said the shop was blanketed with dust as the winds swept through, coating plastic cutlery with the grit, which had to be thrown out.

''It was like a mini-tornado - it was kind of breathtaking. It was unreal.''

MetService chief forecaster Peter Kreft said although it may have looked like a small twister the phenomenon was in fact caused by high winds being ''given a spin'' by surrounding terrain and buildings.

''They can be quite vigorous and deep and surprisingly strong.''

The wild winds are part of a front that has brought gusts of up to 140kmh to the Wellington region this afternoon.

A 140kmh gust was recorded at Castlepoint while 120kmh gusts were recorded at Wellington airport and Kelburn.

Rain is set to fall overnight and clear before morning with the possibility of showers in the afternoon as a sunny weekend sets in.

Contact Matt Stewart
Weather, science and environment reporter
Email: matt.stewart@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @smatape

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Do you intentionally buy organic food?

Yes - exclusively

I try to if possible

Maybe half of the time

Not very often

Never

I don't even take notice

Vote Result

Related story: Wellingtonians driving organic food mainstream

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content