NZ Historic Weather Events Catalog

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SevereMay 2011 Auckland Tornado ( 2011-05-03 )

The tornado formed from a very active and well defined band of thunderstorm activity on the afternoon of the 3rd May 2011. The destructive tornado swept across Auckland's North Shore, leaving a trail of destruction from Albany to Glenfield.

Auckland

TornadoTornado at Auckland
Comments:

Insurance ClaimInsurance claims for the tornado total $6 million.

CommentThe tornado hit the area about 3 pm on Tuesday, affecting the suburbs of Albany, Birkenhead, Glenfield and Kaipatiki.

DamageThe damage resulting from this tornado suggests it falls into the F2 class of the Fujita Scale. An F2 tornado is categorised as causing significant damage: roofs torn off frame houses, large trees snapped or uprooted, light-object missiles generated, cars overturned.

CommentRadar images of the Albany tornado of Tuesday 3 May 2011 reveal the presence of a mesocyclone, indicating a strong low-level rotating updraft. The radar derived storm track suggests that the tornado occurred during the middle stages of the storm's lifetime.

Peak Wind SpeedThe tornado reached speeds of 200 kilometres per hour lifting cars into the air, uprooting trees and flinging roofing iron. The damage is consistent with wind speeds of between 180 and 200 km/hr.

TornadoTornado at Albany
Map Location: -36.726496 174.689154
Comments:

CommentThe tornado appeared to begin around the Albany Megacentre and Westfield Malls. It took part of the roof off at Farmers and damaged the old Placemakers building. It came down through Rosedale area. Vehicles and buildings were damaged there. Roofs came off in Unsworth Heights area, a residential area of the North Shore. It then went down through Kaipatiki Road, where Glenfield College is situated. Also in Glenfield a power station was damaged and knocked out. From there the tornado went to Birkenhead and Beach Haven where more trees were taken out. It tracked a path down to Chelsea Sugar Factory and at that point crossed the harbour. It went airborne at that point and dispersed.

Affected LifelineThe Albany Expressway (SH17) was closed after the tornado ripped through the area. The expressway was closed at 4:30 pm and all bus services where affected by the closure.

Affected LifelineTrains services in the Albany area where also affected.

InjuriesA five month old baby girl and two other children were hurt when their car was turned upside down by the tornado. A Fletcher employee, who was demolishing the old Placemakers building in Albany suffered a broken leg in the tornado, and one of the subcontractors working on the same site was taken to hospital as a result of his injuries. Another 14 people were injured, nine were taken to North Shore Hospital, one with moderate injuries and the rest minor. Another was taken to Auckland City Hospital with moderate injuries.

CasualtiesA construction worker who was demolishing the old Placemakers building in Albany was killed when the tornado lifted him into the air and threw him into a concrete wall.

CommentThe tornado formed from a very active and well defined band of thunderstorm activity. On the afternoon of the 3rd May 2011, a large cloud mass tracked down over Northland and the Kaipara Harbour. The air is always very unstable in the vicinity of these thunder cells and torrential rain. On occasion, for reasons like air temperature change or the topography, things can become violently turbulent, directly below these clouds with air moving up and down rapidly. It was these massive upward and downward motions of air that formed into the destructive tornado that occurred in Albany.

CommentThe Fire Service said 74 calls for help were made during this time.

CommentAbout a dozen cars were overturned by the tornado with people trapped inside.

Affected LifelineAside from the damage to residential and commercial properties, power was cut in Glenfield after a power station was damaged.

Property DamageIn Albany, the old Placemakers building was badly damaged and the Pak'N Save supermarket roof was also badly damaged.

Property DamageCommercial buildings and houses where damaged, cars were thrown meters into the air and trees uprooted.

Property DamageThe Albany Mega Centre, a large shopping complex, bore the brunt of the violent storm and sustained the most damage. The area around the Mega Centre was cordoned off to keep people away from dangerous loose debris and unstable roofing.

CommentInternal roads around the Albany Mega Centre were reopened on the night of Tuesday 3rd May once police determined that the area was safe.

CommentThe tornado first stuck in Albany at about 3 pm hitting the mall before it moved south, leaving a 15km trail of destruction, across the Waitamata Harbour to Point Chevalier.

CommentThe distance from where the tornado was first observed, near the corner of Corban Avenue and Munroe Lane, to the shopping centre in Albany is about 800 metres, and the total track from Albany to Point Chevalier was a discontinuous 15 km. There were no reports between Rosedale Park and Glenfield College. Further damage was reported from Roseberry Avenue and again just under 1 km away in Point Chevailer.

TornadoTornado at Birkenhead
Map Location: -36.816899 174.728363
Comments:

Property DamageThe Fire Services said eight households in Roseberry Avenue in the suburb of Birkenhead had to be evacuated. Damage to homes and falling trees made it unsafe for some to return until safety assessments were carried out.

Property Damage27 properties have been damaged in total, 20 of them houses in Roseberry Avenue, Birkenhead, around 10 kilometres away from Albany. One house in Roseberry Avenue is uninhabitable.

References

Headline: The Path of the Auckland Tornado
One News, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Albany Expressway closed after tornado.
New Zealand Herald, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Albany Tornado victim thrown through air.
Stuff.co.nz, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Albany tornado - NZ's most expensive.
3 News (NZPA), 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Clean up begins following Auckland tornado.
3 News (NZPA), 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: How did the Auckland tornado form?
3 News (Mike Hall), 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: One man dead as tornado wreaks havoc in Auckland.
One News, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Tornado cost tipped to be in millions.
Radio New Zealand, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Violent tornado batters North Shore.
Radio New Zealand, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Aftermath of deadly tornado revealed in daylight.
One News, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Peter Kreft and John Crouch (2011) Albany Tornado, Tuesday 03 May 2011. Weather and Climate 31, 67-80.
Headline: Weather warnings lifted after Albany tornado wreaks havoc; one dead.
New Zealand Herald (Susie Nordqvist, Haydon Donnell, Troy Rawhiti-Forbes, Amelia Wade, Nik Dirga and Robert Smith), 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: One dead after tornado rips through Albany, many injured.
The National Business Review, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011,
Headline: Second fatal twister in 20 years for Albany.
Stuff.co.nz, 4 May (Wednesday) 2011.
Headline: Man killed by Auckland tornado had young children.
Stuff.co.nz (Hamish Coleman-Ross), 4 May (Wednesday) 2011.
Insurance Council of New Zealand (www.icnz.org.nz/current/weather)

SevereMay 2011 Auckland Tornado ( 2011-05-03 )

The tornado formed from a very active and well defined band of thunderstorm activity on the afternoon of the 3rd May 2011. The destructive tornado swept across Auckland's North Shore, leaving a trail of destruction from Albany to Glenfield.

Auckland

TornadoTornado at Auckland
Comments:

Insurance ClaimInsurance claims for the tornado total $6 million.

CommentThe tornado hit the area about 3 pm on Tuesday, affecting the suburbs of Albany, Birkenhead, Glenfield and Kaipatiki.

DamageThe damage resulting from this tornado suggests it falls into the F2 class of the Fujita Scale. An F2 tornado is categorised as causing significant damage: roofs torn off frame houses, large trees snapped or uprooted, light-object missiles generated, cars overturned.

CommentRadar images of the Albany tornado of Tuesday 3 May 2011 reveal the presence of a mesocyclone, indicating a strong low-level rotating updraft. The radar derived storm track suggests that the tornado occurred during the middle stages of the storm's lifetime.

Peak Wind SpeedThe tornado reached speeds of 200 kilometres per hour lifting cars into the air, uprooting trees and flinging roofing iron. The damage is consistent with wind speeds of between 180 and 200 km/hr.

TornadoTornado at Albany
Map Location: -36.726496 174.689154
Comments:

CommentThe tornado appeared to begin around the Albany Megacentre and Westfield Malls. It took part of the roof off at Farmers and damaged the old Placemakers building. It came down through Rosedale area. Vehicles and buildings were damaged there. Roofs came off in Unsworth Heights area, a residential area of the North Shore. It then went down through Kaipatiki Road, where Glenfield College is situated. Also in Glenfield a power station was damaged and knocked out. From there the tornado went to Birkenhead and Beach Haven where more trees were taken out. It tracked a path down to Chelsea Sugar Factory and at that point crossed the harbour. It went airborne at that point and dispersed.

Affected LifelineThe Albany Expressway (SH17) was closed after the tornado ripped through the area. The expressway was closed at 4:30 pm and all bus services where affected by the closure.

Affected LifelineTrains services in the Albany area where also affected.

InjuriesA five month old baby girl and two other children were hurt when their car was turned upside down by the tornado. A Fletcher employee, who was demolishing the old Placemakers building in Albany suffered a broken leg in the tornado, and one of the subcontractors working on the same site was taken to hospital as a result of his injuries. Another 14 people were injured, nine were taken to North Shore Hospital, one with moderate injuries and the rest minor. Another was taken to Auckland City Hospital with moderate injuries.

CasualtiesA construction worker who was demolishing the old Placemakers building in Albany was killed when the tornado lifted him into the air and threw him into a concrete wall.

CommentThe tornado formed from a very active and well defined band of thunderstorm activity. On the afternoon of the 3rd May 2011, a large cloud mass tracked down over Northland and the Kaipara Harbour. The air is always very unstable in the vicinity of these thunder cells and torrential rain. On occasion, for reasons like air temperature change or the topography, things can become violently turbulent, directly below these clouds with air moving up and down rapidly. It was these massive upward and downward motions of air that formed into the destructive tornado that occurred in Albany.

CommentThe Fire Service said 74 calls for help were made during this time.

CommentAbout a dozen cars were overturned by the tornado with people trapped inside.

Affected LifelineAside from the damage to residential and commercial properties, power was cut in Glenfield after a power station was damaged.

Property DamageIn Albany, the old Placemakers building was badly damaged and the Pak'N Save supermarket roof was also badly damaged.

Property DamageCommercial buildings and houses where damaged, cars were thrown meters into the air and trees uprooted.

Property DamageThe Albany Mega Centre, a large shopping complex, bore the brunt of the violent storm and sustained the most damage. The area around the Mega Centre was cordoned off to keep people away from dangerous loose debris and unstable roofing.

CommentInternal roads around the Albany Mega Centre were reopened on the night of Tuesday 3rd May once police determined that the area was safe.

CommentThe tornado first stuck in Albany at about 3 pm hitting the mall before it moved south, leaving a 15km trail of destruction, across the Waitamata Harbour to Point Chevalier.

CommentThe distance from where the tornado was first observed, near the corner of Corban Avenue and Munroe Lane, to the shopping centre in Albany is about 800 metres, and the total track from Albany to Point Chevalier was a discontinuous 15 km. There were no reports between Rosedale Park and Glenfield College. Further damage was reported from Roseberry Avenue and again just under 1 km away in Point Chevailer.

TornadoTornado at Birkenhead
Map Location: -36.816899 174.728363
Comments:

Property DamageThe Fire Services said eight households in Roseberry Avenue in the suburb of Birkenhead had to be evacuated. Damage to homes and falling trees made it unsafe for some to return until safety assessments were carried out.

Property Damage27 properties have been damaged in total, 20 of them houses in Roseberry Avenue, Birkenhead, around 10 kilometres away from Albany. One house in Roseberry Avenue is uninhabitable.

References

Headline: The Path of the Auckland Tornado
One News, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Albany Expressway closed after tornado.
New Zealand Herald, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Albany Tornado victim thrown through air.
Stuff.co.nz, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Albany tornado - NZ's most expensive.
3 News (NZPA), 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Clean up begins following Auckland tornado.
3 News (NZPA), 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: How did the Auckland tornado form?
3 News (Mike Hall), 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: One man dead as tornado wreaks havoc in Auckland.
One News, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Tornado cost tipped to be in millions.
Radio New Zealand, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Violent tornado batters North Shore.
Radio New Zealand, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: Aftermath of deadly tornado revealed in daylight.
One News, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Peter Kreft and John Crouch (2011) Albany Tornado, Tuesday 03 May 2011. Weather and Climate 31, 67-80.
Headline: Weather warnings lifted after Albany tornado wreaks havoc; one dead.
New Zealand Herald (Susie Nordqvist, Haydon Donnell, Troy Rawhiti-Forbes, Amelia Wade, Nik Dirga and Robert Smith), 3 May (Tuesday) 2011.
Headline: One dead after tornado rips through Albany, many injured.
The National Business Review, 3 May (Tuesday) 2011,
Headline: Second fatal twister in 20 years for Albany.
Stuff.co.nz, 4 May (Wednesday) 2011.
Headline: Man killed by Auckland tornado had young children.
Stuff.co.nz (Hamish Coleman-Ross), 4 May (Wednesday) 2011.
Insurance Council of New Zealand (www.icnz.org.nz/current/weather)