Alarming waterspouts over north Auckland
A procession of waterspouts in north Auckland has wowed and alarmed residents.
Sir Peter Blake Marine Education & Recreation Centre operations manager Chris Robertson said staff spotted three waterspouts from their Long Bay centre.
Two were on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula coast and one headed towards Long Bay, he said.
Waterspouts get their energy from the sea but don't typically come ashore, MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths said.
Because Whangaparaoa is a thin strip of land they will come close to the coast. But they'll dissipate as soon as they come to shore."
"Most of their energy is in that nice warm water underneath."
Griffiths said the weather line causing the spouts will clear the Auckland region later on Wednesday.
"The activity will be peaking about now. In the next few hours the line will move very slowly and dissipate as it moves north.
"If people see one coming directly for them they should go inside but usually waterspouts are just really cool to look at from the land," she said.
Griffiths said the people most affected by the spouts will be sailors in the ANZ Sail Fiji cruising race who left Auckland this morning.
"They won 't be thrilled to be dodging these things."
Clinton Cowley was driving along the Whangaparaoa Peninsula when he spotted it just before 1pm.
"It was very impressive and actually quite scary to be honest," he said.
He said footage didn't do it justice.
"It was a lot larger when you see it in person and you look at the size of the houses behind."
At one point it encompassed the whole of the house beneath it, Cowley said.
"I thought it was almost going to touch down. Luckily it didn't. Then it dissipated rather quickly."