NZ Historic Weather Events Catalog

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March 2005 West Coast Tornado ( 2005-03-10 )

A tornado hit Greymouth leaving six people injured and $9,200,000 worth of damage.

West Coast

TornadoTornado at Greymouth
Map Location: -42.451212 171.206779
Comments:

CommentA tornado ripped through Greymouth at 1pm on the 10th of March 2005.

CauseA cold front brought unstable air from the south/southwest followed by a strong northwesterly wind and high moisture, with the determining factor being a northeasterly flow at low levels along the Southern Alps, which brought on rotation of the storm.

ImpactThe direct effects of the tornado were confined to a narrow strip of destruction through a mainly commercial area of town. The path of devastation was approximately 4 km long and 400 m wide. It came within 100 m of the path of the tornado that occurred in 2003. The tornado made landfall at Blaketown and moved quickly though Greymouth, passing just south of the town centre, twisted its way up Grey River before crossing to a lagoon across town and up into the hills.

CommentThe tornado was formed in the absence of a thunderstorm and formed as waterspout over the sea just west of Greymouth. It was preceded by black clouds "billowing" into the sky.

Peak Wind SpeedIt had an F1 rating with winds speeds of around 180 km/hr.

DurationIt was estimated that the tornado lasted 10 seconds.

Insurance PaymentThe insurance industry payouts for the tornado was $9,200,000 (in 2005).

ImpactThe path of the tornado was still evident six months later.

ImpactIt took two days to clean up the debris.

Affected LifelineThere was some interruptions to traffic in town. Roads were blocked by police due to dangerous debris and live wires.

Affected LifelinePower lines were snapped or blown down causing electricity to be cut to half of the town but it was reinstated within a few hours.

CommentTwo tornadoes touched down in Greymouth within two years.

CasualtiesThere was no loss of life.

DamageDue to the amount of damage they had obtained, several buildings in the direct path of tornado had to be demolished.

DamageThe wind tore off structural envelopes.

DamageFlying debris hit buildings at high speeds. There were smashed windows, parts of roofs torn off and destroyed garages.

Affected LifelineThe cellphone network experienced problems.

Property Damage45 residential homes were damaged and 16 home were badly damaged or destroyed.

Damage30 businesses were affected.

DamageOver 50 cars were wrote off.

CommentThe tornado came in from the sea.

Impact Timber and roofing iron from buildings was driven into cars and into the ground. Sheets of roofing iron were lying around and were dotted through the green hills beyond Greymouth.

DamageThere was considerable damage at the Port of Greymouth. Only one wall was left standing at Allan Devine Engineering, a truck was blown into the lagoon, a car was missing, containers were spun around and windows were blown out of a bus company's vehicles. The damage was worse than that caused by the 2003 tornado.

Property DamageThere was extensive damage in Blaketown. Collins Street was the worst affected area, with 11 houses destroyed or badly damaged.

Property DamageThe tornado caused extensive damage to buildings on Tainui Street, including Dispatch and Garlick engineering company and the Civic Video store. Surrounding suburbs were also affected.

Property DamageThe walls were ripped off the Dispatch and Garlick engineering company and the building was destroyed.

Property DamageThe Caltex service station had part of the forecourt blown off, windows blown out, cars damaged, a fence demolished and branches stripped off a pohuakawa tree.

EvacueesApproximately 100 residents of Kowhai Manor retirement home were evacuated.

ImpactThe tornado left nine families homeless.

ImpactUp to 30 people were made homeless and spent the night at a Polytechnic owned student motel.

Property DamageTwo homes were destroyed in Swainson Street and a concrete power pole was snapped in half.

Property DamageThe Video Ezy store was gutted.

InjuriesSix people received injuries from the tornado. Two people were admitted to hospital with moderate injuries and one was treated and discharged. The St John's ambulance treated another three people for minor cuts and bruises. One woman was injured when the tornado flipped over the campervan she was sitting in.

Damage CostA $40,000 Camaro was squashed under a wall.

Property DamageOne wing of the resthome lost its roof and the building was badly damaged.

DamageWindows of 14 fleet buses were smashed in the bus depot.

ImpactA 12 tonne truck was overturned along with a number of cars.

ImpactTrees uprooted and the substation was damaged.

CommentWest Coast is one of the most tornado-prone areas of New Zealand.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentStrong winds gusted for several hours after the tornado.

Canterbury

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Canterbury
Comments:

Affected LifelineHigh winds were hitting State Highway 73 beween Arthur's Pass and Springfield on the 10th.

References

Meteorological Society Of New Zealand (Inc.) September 2006 Report.
Mills, Laura and Mahauariki, Lisa.(2005). Tornado 1.01: Greymouths Twister Terror, 10 March 2005.
New Zealand Weather Reports - Greymouth Tornado: 10 March 2005. www.thunderstorm.co.nz
NZ Geographic Issue 86, Armed and dangerous, history of tornadoes in Nz (Jul - Aug 2007): 11-13.
Headline: Tornado destruction widespread.
onenews.co.nz March 11 2005.
Report: MacAskill, K(2005) Resilient Organisations, Greymouth March 10th Tornado 2005: An Investigation of the Effects and Subsequent Response and Recovery Process, Student Research Report 2005/01,50p.
Headline: Greymouth starts massive clean-up.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 11 march 2005.
Headline: In shock and awe of nature.
www.nzherald.co.nz, 12 March 2005.
Headline: Tornado town slowly gets back on its feet.
www.nzherald.co.nz, 19 March 2005.
Headline: Tornado leaves trail of havoc.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZ Herald and NZPA, 11 March 2005.
Headline: Widespread damage after Greymouth tornado.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 10 March 2005.
Headline: Clean-up begins after devastating tornado.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 11 March 2005.
Headline: Locals volunteer to rebuild tornado-ravaged town.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 14 March 2005.

March 2005 West Coast Tornado ( 2005-03-10 )

A tornado hit Greymouth leaving six people injured and $9,200,000 worth of damage.

West Coast

TornadoTornado at Greymouth
Map Location: -42.451212 171.206779
Comments:

CommentA tornado ripped through Greymouth at 1pm on the 10th of March 2005.

CauseA cold front brought unstable air from the south/southwest followed by a strong northwesterly wind and high moisture, with the determining factor being a northeasterly flow at low levels along the Southern Alps, which brought on rotation of the storm.

ImpactThe direct effects of the tornado were confined to a narrow strip of destruction through a mainly commercial area of town. The path of devastation was approximately 4 km long and 400 m wide. It came within 100 m of the path of the tornado that occurred in 2003. The tornado made landfall at Blaketown and moved quickly though Greymouth, passing just south of the town centre, twisted its way up Grey River before crossing to a lagoon across town and up into the hills.

CommentThe tornado was formed in the absence of a thunderstorm and formed as waterspout over the sea just west of Greymouth. It was preceded by black clouds "billowing" into the sky.

Peak Wind SpeedIt had an F1 rating with winds speeds of around 180 km/hr.

DurationIt was estimated that the tornado lasted 10 seconds.

Insurance PaymentThe insurance industry payouts for the tornado was $9,200,000 (in 2005).

ImpactThe path of the tornado was still evident six months later.

ImpactIt took two days to clean up the debris.

Affected LifelineThere was some interruptions to traffic in town. Roads were blocked by police due to dangerous debris and live wires.

Affected LifelinePower lines were snapped or blown down causing electricity to be cut to half of the town but it was reinstated within a few hours.

CommentTwo tornadoes touched down in Greymouth within two years.

CasualtiesThere was no loss of life.

DamageDue to the amount of damage they had obtained, several buildings in the direct path of tornado had to be demolished.

DamageThe wind tore off structural envelopes.

DamageFlying debris hit buildings at high speeds. There were smashed windows, parts of roofs torn off and destroyed garages.

Affected LifelineThe cellphone network experienced problems.

Property Damage45 residential homes were damaged and 16 home were badly damaged or destroyed.

Damage30 businesses were affected.

DamageOver 50 cars were wrote off.

CommentThe tornado came in from the sea.

Impact Timber and roofing iron from buildings was driven into cars and into the ground. Sheets of roofing iron were lying around and were dotted through the green hills beyond Greymouth.

DamageThere was considerable damage at the Port of Greymouth. Only one wall was left standing at Allan Devine Engineering, a truck was blown into the lagoon, a car was missing, containers were spun around and windows were blown out of a bus company's vehicles. The damage was worse than that caused by the 2003 tornado.

Property DamageThere was extensive damage in Blaketown. Collins Street was the worst affected area, with 11 houses destroyed or badly damaged.

Property DamageThe tornado caused extensive damage to buildings on Tainui Street, including Dispatch and Garlick engineering company and the Civic Video store. Surrounding suburbs were also affected.

Property DamageThe walls were ripped off the Dispatch and Garlick engineering company and the building was destroyed.

Property DamageThe Caltex service station had part of the forecourt blown off, windows blown out, cars damaged, a fence demolished and branches stripped off a pohuakawa tree.

EvacueesApproximately 100 residents of Kowhai Manor retirement home were evacuated.

ImpactThe tornado left nine families homeless.

ImpactUp to 30 people were made homeless and spent the night at a Polytechnic owned student motel.

Property DamageTwo homes were destroyed in Swainson Street and a concrete power pole was snapped in half.

Property DamageThe Video Ezy store was gutted.

InjuriesSix people received injuries from the tornado. Two people were admitted to hospital with moderate injuries and one was treated and discharged. The St John's ambulance treated another three people for minor cuts and bruises. One woman was injured when the tornado flipped over the campervan she was sitting in.

Damage CostA $40,000 Camaro was squashed under a wall.

Property DamageOne wing of the resthome lost its roof and the building was badly damaged.

DamageWindows of 14 fleet buses were smashed in the bus depot.

ImpactA 12 tonne truck was overturned along with a number of cars.

ImpactTrees uprooted and the substation was damaged.

CommentWest Coast is one of the most tornado-prone areas of New Zealand.

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust
Comments:

CommentStrong winds gusted for several hours after the tornado.

Canterbury

High Wind GustsHigh Wind / Gust at Canterbury
Comments:

Affected LifelineHigh winds were hitting State Highway 73 beween Arthur's Pass and Springfield on the 10th.

References

Meteorological Society Of New Zealand (Inc.) September 2006 Report.
Mills, Laura and Mahauariki, Lisa.(2005). Tornado 1.01: Greymouths Twister Terror, 10 March 2005.
New Zealand Weather Reports - Greymouth Tornado: 10 March 2005. www.thunderstorm.co.nz
NZ Geographic Issue 86, Armed and dangerous, history of tornadoes in Nz (Jul - Aug 2007): 11-13.
Headline: Tornado destruction widespread.
onenews.co.nz March 11 2005.
Report: MacAskill, K(2005) Resilient Organisations, Greymouth March 10th Tornado 2005: An Investigation of the Effects and Subsequent Response and Recovery Process, Student Research Report 2005/01,50p.
Headline: Greymouth starts massive clean-up.
The Greymouth Evening Star, 11 march 2005.
Headline: In shock and awe of nature.
www.nzherald.co.nz, 12 March 2005.
Headline: Tornado town slowly gets back on its feet.
www.nzherald.co.nz, 19 March 2005.
Headline: Tornado leaves trail of havoc.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZ Herald and NZPA, 11 March 2005.
Headline: Widespread damage after Greymouth tornado.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 10 March 2005.
Headline: Clean-up begins after devastating tornado.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 11 March 2005.
Headline: Locals volunteer to rebuild tornado-ravaged town.
www.nzherald.co.nz, Source: NZPA, 14 March 2005.