Sep 7, 2004

Crazy weather

Typhoon number 18, known as Songda outside Japan, has done its worst damage in Okinawa, Kyushu, and elsewhere in southwestern Japan, and is now cruising to the northeast where it is expected to retire in the Sea of Okhotsk. Another smaller typhoon - you guessed it, number 19 - is heading this way but is slated for downgrading to "puny wannabe tropical storm" before it ever hits the mainland.

map of current typhoon action from the Japan Meteorological Agency website

But just because these storms rarely center over Tokyo doesn't mean we miss out on the action completely. Quasi-typhoon weather has been toying with us all day, beginning with the mystery sprinkles this morning. The sky was blue, with just a few fluffy white clouds visible, yet from somewhence fell rain. Then there are the incessant winds, ranging in strength from "blustery" to "Joan Rivers." These winds are deceptively chilly; underneath the surface they are humid and mineral-rich, rendering human skin sticky and incapable of breathing. Garbage cans are sent rolling, bicycles are tossed about like so much tinkertoy, and mackerel and saury fall from the sky. Between 7 and 8 this evening we were treated to an encore of serious rain, the majority of it falling at an angle acute to ground level. Many unfortunate souls were returning from work at this time with no umbrella, but the few with umbrellas were no better off. By 9 the wind had all but dried the streets.

At least with all the concrete here we needn't fear landslides.
Of course, there are always earthquakes.


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