Water spout spotted off Oakura

Last updated 10:04 14/05/2012
tdn spout stand
Ross Bennett
A water spout spotted off the coast of Oakura.

Water spout

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A water spout spotted off the coast of Oakura this morning wouldn't cause any major damage says MetService forecaster Andy Downs.

Earlier today Ross Bennett photographed and filmed a large water spout as it moved along the coast about 11am.

"After the two sudden hail showers I looked out to sea to see a large water spout sitting in line with the village," Mr Bennett said.

Mr Bennett, who helped clean up after the 2007 tornados, said the sight of the spout was quite scary.

"It was alarming to see one of that size looking so menacing. I couldn't tell how close it was to the beach but it I could see it thrashing the water up from the sea," he said.

After watching the spout for some time Mr Bennett said it thinned out and moved south.

Mr Downs said water spouts and small tornadoes were a possibility with the current weather conditions, but they wouldn't do any major damage.

"They are usually isolated and short-lived," he said.

"Water spouts normally aren't much of a concern but small tornadoes could damaged trees and unsecure structures."

Warm moist air at lower levels and cold air above was what generated the heavy rain and thunderstorms the region has been experiencing this morning, Mr Downs said.

This then turned into water spouts and tornadoes when the wind began to rotate, he said.

 "The key ingredient for water spouts and tornadoes is a rotation and in this case the lower wind has shifted in a way that's created a strong level ascent of air."

Mr Downs said there was a possibility of more spouts, tornadoes and hail storms over the course of the day.

Earlier today a severe weather warning was issued by the MetService predicting heavy rain and thunderstorms until the early evening.

About 60 to 70mm of rain was expected north of Mt Taranaki and 100 to 150mm on the slopes of the mountain up till 6pm tonight, MetService said.

Peak rain intensities of up to 35mm/hour were possible this morning and the MetService warned that rivers and streams may rise rapidly, and slips, surface and flash flooding were possible.

Have you seen any other water spouts or tornadoes in Taranaki?

 

 

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- Taranaki Daily News

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