Much like in the United States, spring and summer bring severe weather to New Zealand and that does sometimes mean tornadoes. Following on a deadly twister in Hobsonville last month, another twister near Ashburton tore through a golf course yesterday.
When it comes to disasters, New Zealand is probably best known for its dangerous and deadly earthquakes. However Mother Nature can bring typical severe weather as well.
Tornadoes can occur in the nation at almost any time of year and while tornadoes aren’t uncommon with 10 per year on average occurring, most are weak EF-0 events that cause little damage. Only five fatal tornado events are known to have occurred in the past 100 years.
Last month on December 6 a tornado ripped through the Auckland, New Zealand suburb of Hobsonville. The second deadly tornado in as many years for the nation, the twister killed three people, injured at least seven and damaged 150 homes.
Thursday’s twister struck Ashburton, a town southwest of Christchurch on the nation’s South Island. The tornado damaged several birch trees but nearby structures escaped damage.
Kiwi Storm Chaser Stephan Burrows captured amazing imagery of the slow moving truncated cone tornado. Although hard to see in the video, some dirt and debris can briefly be seen showing it was indeed a twister and not just a funnel cloud.