Wahine storm damage in Wellington 10 April 1968 | The Meteorological Society of New Zealand

Wahine storm damage in Wellington 10 April 1968

M. Gee

The Wahine storm of 10 April, 1968, was one of the most intense wind storms to have affected New Zealand since European settlement. The Wellington area, at the southwestern tip of North Island, suffered the worst damage. This paper examines the spatial distribution of 3657 insurance claims made for storm damage in Wellington Region. Developed areas sited on hills and ridges, which tended to be aligned with the SSW wind direction, are shown to have suffered 30 percent less damage than developed areas on adjacent wide valley floors. Developed areas on flat low-lying ground less than one kilometre downwind of an open expanse of water suffered twice the damage of similar developed areas further inland. These trends are thought to be explained by differences in the roughness of the ground surface as presented to the wind stream. Topographic acceleration of wind streams is apparent in two areas.

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