Waterspout seen in Auckland harbour
Wed, 15 Feb 2012 4:04p.m.
By NZN with 3 News online staff
A sizeable waterspout has been spotted in Auckland, but it appears to have caused little damage.
The waterspout was seen on Waitemata Harbour about 4pm by several people and caused excitement on social media.
3 News understands at least one building was evacuated in the central city, after concerns about the waterspout.
The funnel of wind was initially reported as a tornado, but later clarified to be a waterspout.
The National Weather Service defines a waterspout as a tornado over water.
A police spokesman confirmed it was seen from its communications centre in Grey Lynn, west of downtown Auckland, "but it went out to sea and we haven't had any damage reports".
Weather Watch analyst Philip Duncan says unstable weather over the upper North Island was responsible for the waterspout.
"We have a day that is quite similar to the day we saw the Albany tornado last year, we have a warm, humid, very calm day but some very big cloud build-ups.
"[They] can create wild air currents and in turn they can create localised funnel clouds - which can lead to small waterspouts over water or small tornadoes over land."
He said waterspouts were a commone phenomenon in New Zealand but it was rare to see them on Waitemata Harbour.
Mr Duncan said it had the potential to flip yachts and small boats.
It was travelling in an easterly or southeasterly direction.
A tornado hit Auckland’s Albany in May last year, killing a construction worker.
It was the most expensive tornado to ever hit New Zealand.
NZN / 3 News
Click 'view video' for footage shot by Jamie Kenward by Country 99
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17/02/2012 3:49:59 a.m.
Don't care what its called, just don't wanna see one up close... Kinda cool though..
15/02/2012 8:46:20 p.m.
@Cyril - are you qualified to make that statement? Something is telling me you don't.
15/02/2012 7:01:56 p.m.
More proof that Auckland sucks.
15/02/2012 6:01:09 p.m.
Why all this drivel about whether its a tormado or a waterspout. They act like they are differant things but a water spout can run onto the shore becomeing a tornado and vis e versa.
15/02/2012 5:00:52 p.m.
I live in Mairangi bay and we saw a 'tornado' or funnel cloud about a couple of miles north of us at around 4.20pm - very close and very clear. I was in the car so couldn't film but several kids did. Hopefully someone has some footage.
15/02/2012 4:39:13 p.m.
Kelly S wrote:
It's only a tornado if it touches the surface, otherwise it's called a funnel cloud.
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