26 Sep 2013

NZ's tornado frequency increasing

1:55 pm on 26 September 2013

A scientist says the country is experiencing more tornadoes than it has in 40 years.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research is researching the frequency of the weather events.

Researcher Richard Turner says on average about 7 - 10 moderate to strong tornadoes are reported each year.

He says more tornadoes were noted over the past decade than during the 1980s and 1990s and current numbers are more like those in the 1950s and 1960s.

In the past nine years, six people have been killed in New Zealand as a result of tornadoes.