A tornado hit the ground south of Hamilton yesterday and contract milker Colin Krippner got dangerously close to it as wild weather tightened its grip on the country.
The 47-year-old was watching television at his Paterangi home when he heard a thunderstorm rumbling outside.
And about 3.10pm the funnel cloud dropped out of the dark sky.
"It probably stayed on the ground for 10 minutes and looked pretty dangerous, so I rang the police just in case," Mr Krippner said.
He also managed to snap a photo of the twister as it tore through a neighbouring property.
"I talked to someone who was near it, and they said there were branches and leaves flying around."
It was the most severe tornado he had seen in the area.
The unusual sight was just one early manifestation of a mid-winter storm that is making its way up the country and is likely to peak in Waikato today.