Storm facts

report:

  • NIWA has been measuring wave height from a buoy two kilometres off Baring Head, Wellington, since 1995. Last night’s waves are the largest seen in that record.
  • Last night, the highest waves measured were typically 15 metres, from peak to trough, for the period around midnight last night.
  • Anecdotal information records the wave height at the time of the Wahine disaster at 12 to 14 metres.

Now I understand how the wall at Island Bay was destroyed.

  • These measurement show that last night’s storm is in the same category as five other major storms recorded in 1961, 1965, 1967, 1974, 1977 and 1985.
  • The maximum 10 minute average, sustained wind reading during the Wahine disaster was measured at 144 km/hour and stand out by far as the strongest in the 50 years of the record.
  • So this was an extreme event, but still not as intense as the Wahine storm.

But not as windy as Wahine.

  • The largest snow storm on record in the central South Island was registered in 1973.
  • Snow depth recorded by NIWA staff at Methven yesterday was 99mm compared with 610mm snow depth measured in 1973.
  • At Lake Tekapo, the snow depth of 600mm measured yesterday was similar to the 670mm measured in 1973.
  • The snow depth recorded on the inland road near Waiau yesterday was 229mm, slightly more than the 161mm recorded last year.

And still some way to goon the snow front.

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