Auckland, NZ flooding, January 2023

  • Thread starter Astronuc
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In summary, severe flooding caused by record-breaking rain has hit Auckland city and region on 27 January 2023. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) reported that this was the wettest day on record for multiple locations in Auckland, with some areas experiencing an entire summer's worth of rain in one day. This weather event has been attributed to the La Niña weather phenomenon and the Indian Ocean Dipole. In addition, a powerful tropical system, Cyclone Gabrielle, has also caused widespread damage and flooding in New Zealand, prompting the prime minister to declare a national state of emergency. Along with this, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake also rattled the lower North Island, causing concern and surprise among residents.
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Astronuc
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In what one emergency service person described as a bit of a weather bomb, the Auckland city and region is seeing extensive flooding. The main terminal at Auckland airport is flooded.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/auckl...nz-nzdf-called-in/3YQ54VEQTJE2HJDRYHLYAYHOTQ/

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/auckl...oating-down-roads/GGO5X6624FDWLPRM7EDHGC4QEY/

It seems to be a highly unusual weather event described as "record rain caused widespread flooding on 27 January 2023."

New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said that 27 January 2023 is “provisionally, the wettest day on record for multiple locations in Auckland.”

In a period from 03:00 to 21:00, the Auckland Albany weather station recorded 260.6 mm of rain; Auckland Motat 238.4 mm; and Auckland Māngere 242.0 mm.

NIWA said “this is approximately an entire summer’s worth of rain (DJF) in one day! Even when using the conventional 9:00 am start time when calculating daily rainfall produces new daily records.
https://floodlist.com/australia/new-zealand-floods-auckland-record-rain-january-2023

Reminds me of the flooding in Victoria and New South Wales during the last two years.

https://floodlist.com/australia/floods-nsw-victoria-november-2022
https://floodlist.com/australia/floods-victoria-tasmania-newsouthwales-october-2022
https://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2022/lismore-flooding/

An explanation:
Australia is exposed, for a third straight year, to the La Niña weather phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, which typically brings above-average rainfall to the country's east.

Another contributor is the Indian Ocean Dipole - a climate phenomenon that affects rainfall patterns near the Indian Ocean, including Australia. It turned negative in May, increasing the chances of above-average rainfall for most of Australia in the September-November spring.

"The oceans north of Australia are warmer and that causes more moisture flowing from the Indian ocean to eastern parts of Australia," said Agus Santoso, senior researcher at the University of New South Wales Climate Research Centre.
https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-...country-is-battling-weather-again-2022-10-15/

Apparently, the La Niña weather phenomenon exacerbates a typical weather pattern known as an East Coast Low
East Coast Lows (ECL) are intense low pressure systems which occur, on average, several times each year off the eastern coast of Australia, in particular southern Queensland, NSW and eastern Victoria. Although they can occur at any time of the year, they are more common during autumn and winter with a maximum frequency in June. East Coast Lows will often intensify rapidly over a period of 12-24 hours making them one of the more dangerous weather systems to affect the eastern coast. East coast lows are also observed off the coast of Africa and America and are sometimes known as east coast cyclones.
http://www.bom.gov.au/weather-services/severe-weather-knowledge-centre/eastcoastlows.shtml
 
Earth sciences news on Phys.org
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  • #6
New Zealand declares national emergency in wake of historic Cyclone Gabrielle
https://www.foxweather.com/weather-news/new-zealand-declares-national-emergency-cyclone-gabrielle

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Cyclone Gabrielle continued to batter New Zealand on Tuesday, leaving widespread flooding and wind damage and prompting the prime minister to declare a national state of emergency.

"That means we’ll be throwing everything at this to make sure that we provide as much support to the response as possible," Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said in a news conference Tuesday as the country worked to clean up from the powerful tropical system. It was just the third national emergency declared in the nation's history.

Heavy rains of 6-12 inches (15.2-30.5 cm) fell across the North Island as winds gusted to 55-80 mph (88.5-129 kmph) along the mainlands and 80-100 mph (129-161 kmph) on some of their more exposed islands. Channel Island recorded a gust of 101 mph (163 kmph), according to New Zealand's MetService.
 
  • #7
https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-po...-heavy-rain-after-63-quake-on-wednesday-night

The house rattled for a while then increasing started to shake - for a significant period of time. As that was occurring I got an Android alert to expect 'light shaking'.From https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300808301/lower-north-island-rocked-by-magnitude-63-earthquake
"When asked how he felt about the quake Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said it was “unprintable”.
“I was looking out the window for a plague of locusts.”"
 
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  • #8
Earthquake + heavy cyclone!
 
  • #9
Astronuc said:
Earthquake + heavy cyclone!
Yup. As far as I'm aware, there is no reported damage from the earthquake. Just Cyclone Gabrielle, especially in the upper North Island and Hawke's Bay.
 

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