The weather

Snow finally came to the mountains and ski fields in both the North Island and the South Island. Queenstown had their winter festival two weeks ago without snow. The ski field was not open. Now the snow is on the mountain and in the town.

On the other hand, people living on the East Coast of the North and South Islands had mild weather and strong winds this weekend. Napier on the East Coast had 18 degrees today. Greymouth on the West Coast had heavy rain which turned to snow on the mountains. There was a strong westerly wind over most of the country.

The difference in weather between the far north and the far south is because New Zealand is such a long country. The far north is at latitude 35 degrees and the far south is at 46 degrees. There are mountains in the middle of both islands which are usually snow covered in the winter.

The stormy weather brought a tornado to the Kapiti coast, north of Wellington, yesterday. A tornado is a funnel of wind which drops down for a short distance and can cause terrible damage in a few seconds. This tornado blew the roof off some houses, destroyed a caravan and broke trees which fell onto cars. Some people were injured but nobody was killed.

The MetService said the stormy weather will continue for the next few days.

Listen to May 3rd 2011 to hear about a tornado north of Auckland.

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