Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A tornado nearby

A tornado touched down in Albany, less than 10km away from us. The video above was posted within minutes of the storm, and was the first I saw has been removed by the user. Weird.

The tornado, with winds estimated to be between 180 and 200 kph, caused extensive damage, several injuries and one death. At our house, we had nothing more than very heavy rain (with some sunshine, no less) and the power flicked for a moment (to be clear, we’re fine and had no damage).

Once again, I heard about this breaking news first on Twitter. Well, apart from the storm outside, of course.

Tornadoes are very unusual in New Zealand, and if they happen damage is usually pretty minor. We don’t get the big F4 tornadoes that my homeland does. Part of the reason, I’ve been told, is that New Zealand doesn’t have much land mass, and so, storms can’t intensify as they can when crossing a continent. However, rising ocean temperatures and increased moisture in the atmosphere due to climate change may make severe storms with tornadoes more likely. As this storm shows, even a small tornado can be dangerous, and even deadly.

This is a threat I can understand and relate to, having grown up in the Midwest of the US. If it had been me near that tornado, I wouldn’t have been filming it but looking for cover. You can take the boy out of the Midwest, but…

The video below is the second one I saw. There's also a somewhat more dramatic video elsewhere. Photos can be seen here.


Roger Owen Green said...

bummer; 1st video removed by the owner. Always wanted to see a twister in Albany. Oh, Albany, NEW ZEALAND. My mistake.

amerinz's sis said...

Glad you're okay!!

What's a triple e (I think that's what the guy in the video said)? I can imagine how scared people in NZ must have been if they had never seen a tornado. Heck, we're scared here and it's common, especially in spring.

Remember the time we were camping on the outskirts of a tornado?

This have been a very active year for tornadoes in the States. The South has been hit very hard. One man who was interviewed said that he and his family took shelter under their front porch. A neighbor and his family went under their porch, but sadly, they were killed. It all depends on the path the tornado takes. I'm glad we have a basement though.

Arthur Schenck said...

Roger: Yes, but the NZ version is pronounced "AL-binny", not "ALL-bunny" (the first NZ syllable rhymes with pal).

Sis: Um, that was the Kiwi accent (iksint?). They were saying, "trampoline". Guess I'm used to it!

Several people who were there at the time said on the news that night that they had no idea what to do. So, that night the news told peopel what to do. The next night, they said a storm system was moving in that might, possibly, be able to produce tornadoes. Don't remember seeing that before!

I also don't remember the camping incident, but sometimes these days I later remember things I've forgotten—sometimes…

Your recent tornadoes made our evening national news here that night, actually.