NZ Historic Weather Events Catalog

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March 1997 North Island Ex-tropical Cyclone Gavin ( 1997-03-11 )

Ex-tropical Cyclone Gavin brought high winds, high seas, heavy rain and flooding to parts of Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne. Three homes were evacuated in Gisborne due to wind damage and a family was evacuated in Northland.

North Island

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Duration:   3  days - From the 11th to the 13th of March.
Comments:

CauseEx-tropical Cyclone Gavin. On the 10th and 11th, Cyclone Gavin moved steadily southwards, evolving into a deep subtropical depression located about 450 km north-east of Auckland. An associated rainband moved over the north-east of the North Island, bringing heavy rain to exposed eastern districts.

CommentHeavy rain and gales were experienced in the north-east of the North Island.

Northland

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Northland
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNorthland received 30-50 mm (3.0-5.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain in parts of Northland caused flooding in exposed areas to the east on the 11th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicIslands off the east coast of Northland recorded south-easterly winds averaging 80 km/hr.

Physical CharacteristicIslands off the east coast of Northland recorded peak gusts of 113 km/hr.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Ohawini Bay
Map Location: -35.375118 174.340756
Comments:

EvacueesA family was evacuated at Ohawini Bay in Whangaruru Harbour.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Paihia
Map Location: -35.284049 174.084489
Comments:

DamageAt Paihia, about 50 m of the waterfront collapsed as a huge swell combined with unusually high tides pounded the east coast.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Tutukaka
Map Location: -35.608793 174.518108
Comments:

ImpactThe basement of a beachfront house in Tutukaka was flooded.

Waikato

FloodingFlooding at Waikato
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain in parts of Coromandel Peninsula caused flooding in exposed areas to the east on the 11th.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Tararu
Map Location: -37.111701 175.512923
Comments:

Peak Water LevelAt Tararu, the first high tide on the 11th was 1.86 m hindcast, relative to the Tararu MSL datum.

Peak Water LevelAt Tararu, the second high tide on the 11th was 1.87 m hindcast, relative to the Tararu MSL datum.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Taupo
Map Location: -38.69531 176.070758
Comments:

Affected LifelineHigh winds cut power to a wide area of Taupo and surrounding districts.

Physical CharacteristicThere were winds of 80-100 km/hr.

Bay of Plenty

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Bay of Plenty
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBay of Plenty received 30-50 mm (3.0-5.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain in parts of Bay of Plenty caused flooding in exposed areas to the east on the 11th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

DamageSevere gales downed trees.

Affected LifelineThere were power disruptions caused by arcing power lines.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Tauranga
Map Location: -37.679532 176.173022
Comments:

CommentTauranga was relatively unscathed.

Gisborne

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Gisborne
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe ranges of Gisborne recorded 50-150 mm (5.0-15.0 cm) of rain.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain in parts of Gisborne caused flooding in exposed areas to the east on the 11th.

CommentThere was surface water on the Poverty Bay flats.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

DamageSevere gales caused damage in Gisborne.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineRoads were closed by flooding and slips.

Crop DamageCorn, maize and grape crops were badly affected by wet and windy conditions. Entire paddocks of heavily-laden sweetcorn were reported to have been blown flat near coast.

CommentEast Cape bore the brunt of the Cyclone.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Gisborne city
Map Location: -38.656661 178.017356
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicGisborne Airport recorded 108.6 mm (10.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicGisborne recorded 115.5 mm (11.6 cm) of rain in the 23 hours to 8am on the 12th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Hicks Bay
Map Location: -37.590857 178.282493
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedThe Hicks Bay area had south-easterly gusts of up to 128 km/hr.

Affected LifelineState Highway 35 was closed just north of Hicks Bay due to trees blocking the road.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Hikuwai
Map Location: -38.171645 178.260318
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicHikuwai recorded 159.5 mm (16.0 cm) of rain in the 23 hours to 8am on the 12th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kanakanaia
Map Location: -38.409537 177.943109
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKanakanaia recorded 78.5 mm (7.9 cm) of rain in the 23 hours to 8am on the 12th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Matakaoa Point
Map Location: -37.561533 178.321151
Comments:

Property DamageTwo homes at Matakaoa Point were extensively damaged by the wind, having their roofs ripped off. The wind also toppled several trees.

EvacueesThree families were evacuated on the 12th.

CommentThe winds were described as "so strong we could scarcely stand up".

Affected LifelineThe winds brought down power lines.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Matawai
Map Location: -38.356439 177.53729
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMatawai recorded 166 mm (16.6 cm) of rain overnight on the 11th/12th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Monowai station
Map Location: -38.515333 178.030876
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMonowai Bridge recorded 140 mm (14.0 cm) of rain in the 23 hours to 8am on the 12th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Motu
Map Location: -38.258449 177.551615
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMotu recorded 152.2 mm (15.2 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicMotu recorded 166 mm (16.6 cm) of rain overnight on the 11th/12th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactThe Motu River overtopped its banks upstream, and extensive flooding occurred in the Motu area.

Affected LifelineThe township was surrounded by surface water.

ImpactMotu School was closed.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Pakarae
Map Location: -38.518951 178.252201
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicPakarae recorded 162.5 mm (16.3 cm) of rain in the 23 hours to 8am on the 12th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Potaka
Map Location: -37.574821 178.140169
Comments:

Property DamageAt Potaka, a house and its contents were demolished by high winds early on the morning of the 12th. The entire roof was completely ripped off and the front wall ripped out.

Physical CharacteristicPotaka had winds of up to 120 km/hr.

Affected LifelinePotaka and the Waikura Valley were left without power overnight on the 12th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Te Araroa
Map Location: -37.633021 178.355369
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTe Araroa recorded 34 mm (3.4 cm) in the 24 hours to 8am on the 12th.

FloodingFlooding at Te Karaka
Map Location: -38.467237 177.870255
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Waipaoa River at Kanakanaia Bridge was at a level of 5 m.

LandslideLandslide at Te Puia Springs
Map Location: -38.054756 178.309912
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 35 was closed near Te Puia Springs due to land slump. The landslide was an old one reactivated by the heavy rain.

Wellington

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Wellington
Comments:

CommentWairarapa was affected.

References

Headline: Mr Cyclone glad to see Gavin pass.
The Bay of Plenty, 12 March 1997.
Bell, R.G; Hill, A.F. (1997). Tidal and meteorlogical conditions for previous major sea storms at Thames.
Environment Waikato. State of Emergency Declarations in the district since 1976.
Headline: Gavin buffets district and crops disrupted.
The Gisborne Herald, 12 March 1997.
Headline: District gets off lightly.
The Gisborne Herald, 13 March 1997.
Headline: Family in real plight after home torn apart.
The Gisborne Herald, 13 March 1997.
www.metservice.co.nz / Learning Centre / Notable Weather Events Archives / 1997 Autumn / Cyclone Gavin 11-13 March 1997.
Headline: Northlanders escape with minor damage.
The Northern Advocate, 12 March 1997.
Saunders, W. (2000). Planning and Resources, Hazard and Emergency Management Section, Wairarapa Division, Wairarapa Storm Events 1880-1998, Technical Report No. 00/17.

March 1997 North Island Ex-tropical Cyclone Gavin ( 1997-03-11 )

Ex-tropical Cyclone Gavin brought high winds, high seas, heavy rain and flooding to parts of Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne. Three homes were evacuated in Gisborne due to wind damage and a family was evacuated in Northland.

North Island

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Duration:   3  days - From the 11th to the 13th of March.
Comments:

CauseEx-tropical Cyclone Gavin. On the 10th and 11th, Cyclone Gavin moved steadily southwards, evolving into a deep subtropical depression located about 450 km north-east of Auckland. An associated rainband moved over the north-east of the North Island, bringing heavy rain to exposed eastern districts.

CommentHeavy rain and gales were experienced in the north-east of the North Island.

Northland

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Northland
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicNorthland received 30-50 mm (3.0-5.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain in parts of Northland caused flooding in exposed areas to the east on the 11th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicIslands off the east coast of Northland recorded south-easterly winds averaging 80 km/hr.

Physical CharacteristicIslands off the east coast of Northland recorded peak gusts of 113 km/hr.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Ohawini Bay
Map Location: -35.375118 174.340756
Comments:

EvacueesA family was evacuated at Ohawini Bay in Whangaruru Harbour.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Paihia
Map Location: -35.284049 174.084489
Comments:

DamageAt Paihia, about 50 m of the waterfront collapsed as a huge swell combined with unusually high tides pounded the east coast.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Tutukaka
Map Location: -35.608793 174.518108
Comments:

ImpactThe basement of a beachfront house in Tutukaka was flooded.

Waikato

FloodingFlooding at Waikato
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain in parts of Coromandel Peninsula caused flooding in exposed areas to the east on the 11th.

Maritime / CoastalMaritime / Coastal at Tararu
Map Location: -37.111701 175.512923
Comments:

Peak Water LevelAt Tararu, the first high tide on the 11th was 1.86 m hindcast, relative to the Tararu MSL datum.

Peak Water LevelAt Tararu, the second high tide on the 11th was 1.87 m hindcast, relative to the Tararu MSL datum.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Taupo
Map Location: -38.69531 176.070758
Comments:

Affected LifelineHigh winds cut power to a wide area of Taupo and surrounding districts.

Physical CharacteristicThere were winds of 80-100 km/hr.

Bay of Plenty

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Bay of Plenty
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicBay of Plenty received 30-50 mm (3.0-5.0 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain in parts of Bay of Plenty caused flooding in exposed areas to the east on the 11th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

DamageSevere gales downed trees.

Affected LifelineThere were power disruptions caused by arcing power lines.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Tauranga
Map Location: -37.679532 176.173022
Comments:

CommentTauranga was relatively unscathed.

Gisborne

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Gisborne
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe ranges of Gisborne recorded 50-150 mm (5.0-15.0 cm) of rain.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

CommentHeavy rain in parts of Gisborne caused flooding in exposed areas to the east on the 11th.

CommentThere was surface water on the Poverty Bay flats.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

DamageSevere gales caused damage in Gisborne.

Multi HazardMulti Hazard
Comments:

Affected LifelineRoads were closed by flooding and slips.

Crop DamageCorn, maize and grape crops were badly affected by wet and windy conditions. Entire paddocks of heavily-laden sweetcorn were reported to have been blown flat near coast.

CommentEast Cape bore the brunt of the Cyclone.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Gisborne city
Map Location: -38.656661 178.017356
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicGisborne Airport recorded 108.6 mm (10.9 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicGisborne recorded 115.5 mm (11.6 cm) of rain in the 23 hours to 8am on the 12th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Hicks Bay
Map Location: -37.590857 178.282493
Comments:

Peak Wind SpeedThe Hicks Bay area had south-easterly gusts of up to 128 km/hr.

Affected LifelineState Highway 35 was closed just north of Hicks Bay due to trees blocking the road.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Hikuwai
Map Location: -38.171645 178.260318
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicHikuwai recorded 159.5 mm (16.0 cm) of rain in the 23 hours to 8am on the 12th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Kanakanaia
Map Location: -38.409537 177.943109
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicKanakanaia recorded 78.5 mm (7.9 cm) of rain in the 23 hours to 8am on the 12th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Matakaoa Point
Map Location: -37.561533 178.321151
Comments:

Property DamageTwo homes at Matakaoa Point were extensively damaged by the wind, having their roofs ripped off. The wind also toppled several trees.

EvacueesThree families were evacuated on the 12th.

CommentThe winds were described as "so strong we could scarcely stand up".

Affected LifelineThe winds brought down power lines.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Matawai
Map Location: -38.356439 177.53729
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMatawai recorded 166 mm (16.6 cm) of rain overnight on the 11th/12th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Monowai station
Map Location: -38.515333 178.030876
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMonowai Bridge recorded 140 mm (14.0 cm) of rain in the 23 hours to 8am on the 12th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Motu
Map Location: -38.258449 177.551615
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicMotu recorded 152.2 mm (15.2 cm) of rain in 24 hours.

Physical CharacteristicMotu recorded 166 mm (16.6 cm) of rain overnight on the 11th/12th.

FloodingFlooding
Comments:

ImpactThe Motu River overtopped its banks upstream, and extensive flooding occurred in the Motu area.

Affected LifelineThe township was surrounded by surface water.

ImpactMotu School was closed.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Pakarae
Map Location: -38.518951 178.252201
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicPakarae recorded 162.5 mm (16.3 cm) of rain in the 23 hours to 8am on the 12th.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Potaka
Map Location: -37.574821 178.140169
Comments:

Property DamageAt Potaka, a house and its contents were demolished by high winds early on the morning of the 12th. The entire roof was completely ripped off and the front wall ripped out.

Physical CharacteristicPotaka had winds of up to 120 km/hr.

Affected LifelinePotaka and the Waikura Valley were left without power overnight on the 12th.

Heavy RainHeavy Rain at Te Araroa
Map Location: -37.633021 178.355369
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicTe Araroa recorded 34 mm (3.4 cm) in the 24 hours to 8am on the 12th.

FloodingFlooding at Te Karaka
Map Location: -38.467237 177.870255
Comments:

Physical CharacteristicThe Waipaoa River at Kanakanaia Bridge was at a level of 5 m.

LandslideLandslide at Te Puia Springs
Map Location: -38.054756 178.309912
Comments:

Affected LifelineState Highway 35 was closed near Te Puia Springs due to land slump. The landslide was an old one reactivated by the heavy rain.

Wellington

Multi HazardMulti Hazard at Wellington
Comments:

CommentWairarapa was affected.

References

Headline: Mr Cyclone glad to see Gavin pass.
The Bay of Plenty, 12 March 1997.
Bell, R.G; Hill, A.F. (1997). Tidal and meteorlogical conditions for previous major sea storms at Thames.
Environment Waikato. State of Emergency Declarations in the district since 1976.
Headline: Gavin buffets district and crops disrupted.
The Gisborne Herald, 12 March 1997.
Headline: District gets off lightly.
The Gisborne Herald, 13 March 1997.
Headline: Family in real plight after home torn apart.
The Gisborne Herald, 13 March 1997.
www.metservice.co.nz / Learning Centre / Notable Weather Events Archives / 1997 Autumn / Cyclone Gavin 11-13 March 1997.
Headline: Northlanders escape with minor damage.
The Northern Advocate, 12 March 1997.
Saunders, W. (2000). Planning and Resources, Hazard and Emergency Management Section, Wairarapa Division, Wairarapa Storm Events 1880-1998, Technical Report No. 00/17.