Auckland tornado ‘very significant’ for New Zealand – meteorologist

The tornado which tore through parts of Auckland this morning was “very significant” for New Zealand, according to MetService meteorologist Peter Little.

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The clean-up effort has begun for the residents of Papatoetoe. Source: 1 NEWS

Little told 1 NEWS this morning’s tornado appears to be an EF1 on the Fujita scale.

"EF1 is a very significant tornado for New Zealand," he said.

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FENZ Assistant Area Commander Stephen Sosich describes the significant damage left to infrastructure and properties. Source: 1 NEWS

The Fujita scale rates tornado intensity, and ranges from ED0 to EF5.

“In New Zealand we get about 10 to 12 tornados a year but most of the tornadoes are weak, what we call EF0 on the Fujita scale,” Little said.

“This tornado, from the damage reports we've seen and pictures, looks like an EF1, and those are quite rare — we only see them every few years.”

Little said MetService needs to investigate further to determine whether the tornado was in fact an EF1 or if it was a weak EF2.

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The people involved are not believed to be Ports of Auckland staff or linked to its subsidiary Conlinxx, which operates the site. Source: 1 NEWS

"The weather system has now moved southwards from the Auckland area and has weakened. “So we’re not expecting any further tornadoes from that,” Little said.

“There is another front which moves onto northern New Zealand tonight and in the overnight period, and that could bring a risk of tornadoes to eastern parts of Northland and to the Coromandel Peninsula — but the risk of that is only low.”