Monday, May 30, 2011

Typhoon #2

Typhoon #2 hit Japan over the weekend. It ran right over Okinawa main island then aimed straight for Honshu. Okinawa, Kyushu, parts of Shikoku and southern Honshu all saw a good deal of damage; uprooted trees, mudslides, turned-over trucks and so on. About 65 people have been injured, though thankfully nobody has died.

The typhoon aimed straight at Osaka, and just as it was about to hit - it got downgraded to a tropical storm and veered off out into the sea. There was storm damage all around but in Osaka itself we just got a good downpour and a little bit of wind. This often happens with typhoons.

One possible reason is that Osaka lies very sheltered in a river delta at the and of Seto inland sea, with Shikoku and Awaji acting as sea-side buffers, and the mountains in Wakayama and Hyogo protecting it from land. Another popular explanation is that Osaka is too loud, too coarse and too vulgar for such high-status weather systems; typhoons try to avoid the embarrassment of being seen anywhere near the city. My money is on the second theory.

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