Monday, May 20, 2013

Waterspouts over the Manukau Harbour in Auckland.

I took Perdy for her usual afternoon walk today, knowing that we would have to hurry in order to avoid an incoming storm. Perdy jumped out of the car and waited patiently for me to put my boots on and get the ball-thrower from the back of the car. Having achieved that without her leaping up to encourage me, she was off like a shot, chasing her favourite orange ball across the sand. Two 'doggie walker' friends were returning to their cars and Perdy tired to great them by attempting to jump in their cars. It was then that I glanced towards the South Western horizon, beyond the heavy machinery that is carving out several new beaches on the waterfront.
'Holy hell!'  I yelled, to no one in particular. 'Look at that----isn't that a bloody tornado!'
Other people jumped out of their cars and watched as a sinister grey twisting mass of cloud reached for the surface of the harbour; the distance hard to measure. It was then we noticed a second much more compact deep grey thread of mischief, visibly moving towards us.
'Shit, two of them. One is definitely a waterspout1' I crowed knowledgably. That was pure assumption on my part. What the hell would I know. I did know one thing though and my thoughts were echoed by the others watching.
'Those poor people in Oklahoma.' The scene before us was as different as night and day. Still, 'Mother nature' was giving us a display that truly moves one. Within a few minutes, both spouts had retreated to their parent  clouds. I rang a few people and asked them to watch the news or listen to the radio. A short time later, Perdy and I drove out from the car park, just as a mini maelstrom assaulted us. I turned the wipers to fast and we headed around to the foreshore. By the time I pulled up to the sea-wall, the clouds had a distinctly lighter feel to them and the storm moved east over the city. On the way home I heard several reports of the two spouts. Luckily they did not make land. I once again thought of the massive destruction in Oklahoma. My thoughts went to the dead, injured and the families. We returned to the comforts of home and for me, a huge cup of coffee. Am I correct in thinking that these huge tornadoes in the USA are becoming more frequent and even in little New Zealand, we seem to be seeing more of the smaller versions.