A spectacular waterspout amazed Kapiti Coast residents as it snaked off the sea, releasing heavy rain and hailstones as big as marbles.
It dispersed over the land. Police said it caused no damage, though traffic on State Highway 1 slowed as motorists stopped to watch it.
Raumati South resident Nick Swan said he saw the waterspout at Queen Elizabeth Park and stopped his car to take pictures.
"I've seen waterspouts before and this was by far the widest and highest," he said. "It was as high as the eye could see. It was huge and I could see it snaking very slowly from side to side."
Kapiti Boating Club vice-commodore Peter Kortens saw a cloud slowly developing into "a long black spiral".
"Within a few minutes it touched down on the sea and sucked up seawater," he said. "As it hit the ground it released the water - we could see it fall. We've never seen an event from the boat club like that."
Mr Kortens said the twister moved across State Highway 1 and slowly disappeared.
MetService spokesman William Nepe said a complex trough of low pressure over New Zealand was a factor. Warm air from the tropics hitting cold air and sea-surface temperatures of about 20 degrees also contributed.
Storm Chaser Phil Kurimski has pix's of ChaserCon which was held in Colorado over the weekend.
Russian navy ship under tow after Aegean rescue - Summary
Europe World News | Home Athens - A Russian auxiliary ship that issued distress calls during rough seas in the Aegean was being towed to a safe island harbour, reports said. Greek coastguard officials rushed to send rescue helicopters and a coast guard frigate to assist a Russian navy ship, with 88 crew on board, after it was caught in strong winds and engine problems in the Aegean Sea, approximately 15 nautical miles south of the Ikaria. A Greek navy frigate was towing the Russian repair vessel, belonging to Russias Black Sea fleet, to a safe harbour on the island of Hios, just north of Ikaria.
Officials said the operation would take several hours due to the bad weather. Coastguard officials said the ship was an auxiliary vessel that was carrying fuel and was drifting out of control due to engine problems. All the crew were reported safe. The Ministry of Merchant Marine said the vessel had been heading to the base of the Black Sea fleet in Savastopol, Ukraine from Syria. Heavy snowfall, gale force winds and freezing temperatures have hit Greece for the past two days, forcing ships to ports across the country, and paralyzing air and land transport.
MARINE WX NEWS BRIEFS
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