Weather News

Tornado time for north coast

Thursday June 16, 2011 - 10:49 EST
Audience submitted image
Water spout in Lennox head, June 3, 2010 - Audience submitted

The weather bureau says this week's tornado at Red Rock, north of Coffs Harbour was not surprising given that the north coast is now in peak tornado time.

Michael Logan from the Bureau of Metrology says the weather patterns this time of year are favourable for tornados which often begin as a water spout.

The Red Rock event and last year's Lennox Head tornado both happened in June.

"There are a couple of similarities in the sense that both came in from off the water and we do at this time of the year see a fair bit of water spout activity up and down the new south wales coast and that's just because the conditions are right at this time of the year," Mr Logan said.

He explained that the water spouts often need the combination of unstable air but also they need the contrast of warm waters.

But are we seeing more of these events on the north coast?

The bureau says it is unclear if there are more tornados happening on the north coast or just more people seeing them.

Michael Logan says tornados are a definite feature of the north coast.

He says there are historical accounts of tornados but there are other factors which affect the reporting of the events.

"In more recent times the reports have become more frequent in that we have more incidents in the database but it is hard to work out if we have more occurring or if it just that we have much bigger population densities in these areas and also as we move into the digital age it is also much easier for people to record these features," Mr Logan said.


© ABC 2011

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