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Fireworks trigger man made inversion thunder across Auckland and the gulf last night.

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

Greater Auckland was shaken just after 10.00pm last night with thunderous window rattling explosions from the Tamaki Herenga Waka Festival fireworks display at the Auckland viaduct. It was heard up to 50km away from the event, with reports coming from as far as Hibiscus Coast, Kaipara Harbour to the north and Waiheke Island in the gulf. Why so loud you ask?

After a closer investigation using the 10pm weather balloon data from Whenuapai airport, there appears to be a weather phenomenon present which is called a ‘temperature inversion’. This is when a warmer layer of air exists above earth surface trapping the sound and sending it back to the earth's surface. It can sometimes happen in a thunderstorm and is called 'Inversion thunder'. The below shows the weather sounding chart around 10:00pm last night and displays the temperature increasing around 1,200 metres to 1,400 metres above the earth's surface causing the sound wave to be trapped in the lower atmosphere.

Fireworks photo shot from a city Hotel

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