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Tornado ripped through downtown Auckland last night including Westhaven....how's your boat?

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All the more reason to allow liveaboards

If there was a forecast of well over 100 knots for Monday night I certainly missed it.


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50ft schionning cat tipped end over end, saw at least one keeler sunk, fair bit of mooring line chafe damage on some boats, and scores of blown out/missing dodgers/bimini's. Floating dock office is now matchsticks.


Worst hit was towards the ends of R -Y piers, very localised though, a strip maybe only 15-20m wide saw significant damage. Definitely a tornado

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Police said a container blew off a stack of containers on Jellicoe Wharf, at the Ports of Auckland, on Monday night hitting the side of a car and trapping a person inside.

Fire and Emergency spokesperson Daniel Nicholson said they were called at 9.57pm, and managed to release the person within half an hour. St John Ambulance said it took one patient to Auckland Hospital in a moderate condition from Ports of Auckland.

The Great Barrier Island car ferry broke off its mooring line and at least two yachts were sunk in their berths.

Coastguard duty officer Hemi Manaena said there had been significant damage to Westhaven Marina and Viaduct Harbour in Monday night's storm.

The police maritime unit was called out to the Great Barrier Island car ferry which broke its moorings and was in danger of smashing against the seawalls just off the Hilton Hotel on Princes wharf, he said.

Ports of Auckland tugs and the Coastguard were scrambled to move it back into the Wynyard terminal.

Volunteers helped secure other vessels, including a superyacht, and in removing debris.

"There were lots of reports coming into us ... various pieces of debris adrift and around the place, portacoms and shipping containers, cars had fallen off the wharves," Mr Manaena said.

"Some people have called it a tornado, other people are calling it a thunderstorm gust, but whatever you'd like to call it it was very strong winds which has caused a significant amount of damage in and around the Auckland downtown area particularly the Westhaven Marina/Viaduct Habour area."

A car was submerged at the entrance to the Viaduct Harbour and a catamaran was upended in the Westhaven Marina.

Crews worked to remove all the flotsam in the harbour but there was still a "large amount" in the harbour, Mr Manaena said.

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The wind gauge at the Squadron ( as per Predict Wind) shows the wind going high 30's gusting 51 knts at 10 pm. But it shot up from 10 knts, straight up like one of Kim's missiles, then straight back down again.


The harbour bridge wind gauge shows high 20's gusting mid 40's at the same time. It must have been very local. Nothing that would explain the extent of damage. Could it be one of those downdraft things? or a rolling effect in the lee of the hills there (i.e. the start of a classic tornado).


The 24 hr rain radar shows a large rain cell, covering all of Auckland from the Waitemata down to the Hunua's, and from Manakau to the Frith of Thames, but nothing of particular note. That said, the 24 hr radar only takes a snap every hour, so it wouldn't show a fast developing thunder head or anything.


Anyone have any first hand knowledge of the weather event, or understand the meterological side of it?

Anyone living around Ponsonby / Freeman's Bay experince anything interesting? calling Priscilla?

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A bit of google research comes up with this;



Sometimes thunderstorms will produce intense downdrafts that create damaging winds on the ground. These downdrafts are referred to as macrobursts or microbursts, depending on their size. A macroburst is more than 4 km (2.5 miles) in diameter and can produce winds as high as 60 metres per second, or 215 km per hour (200 feet per second, or 135 miles per hour). A microburst is smaller in dimension but produces winds as high as 75 metres per second, or 270 km per hour (250 feet per second, or 170 miles per hour) on the ground. When the parent storm forms in a wet, humid environment, the microburst will be accompanied by intense rainfall at the ground. If the storm forms in a dry environment, however, the precipitationmay evaporate before it reaches the ground (such precipitation is referred to as virga), and the microburst will be dry.

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