These Weather Systems are all Drunks….


Wx

“Our old friend Halola is still churning away in the Western Pacific.  She’s been partying hard out there for quite a while now.  Last weekend she made the mistake of hitting a bottle of wind shear, which is like tequila for typhoons.  A little wind shear, and before you know it they’re falling apart, puking moisture in all directions, losing their strength, and collapsing into a soggy mess.  She spent most of the past weekend as a mere tropical depression, trying to remember where she’d left her wallet and her car keys.  But now, she’s piecing herself back together again.  Today she was sober enough to act like a proper tropical storm, and by Wednesday she’s expected to be back up to typhoon strength.  But, she’ll probably never exceed Category 1 storm strength again.  Too much hard partying will do that to you.  Halola won’t be visiting Okinawa either.  Apparently she heard how much we like to party on this island, and just the thought of it so soon after her awful tequila experience made her turn green.  Seriously.  Just look at that satellite photo.  Look at how green she is.  She might be sunburned in a couple of places too.  Meanwhile, here in Okinawa we’re getting plenty of rain without Halola’s help.  It’s not a typhoon though.  It’s just a weak low pressure area bringing us a lot of moisture and stealing our sunshine.  It’s going to rain through the night, so it’s stealing our moonshine as well.  You see?  These weather systems are all drunks.”

~From the Facebook Community Group Okinawa Typhoon Pics & Info.

 

Typhoons Take Two: Super Start with Typhoon Neoguri!


“The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but deliverance from fear.”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”  ~ Vincent van Gogh quotes

“雨降って地固まる; After the rain, earth hardens.”  ~ Asian Proverb

Super Typhoon Neoguri 5

Fear-300x219The headlines back home are laughable from the perspective of being squarely in the “strike zone” of what is known as “Typhoon Alley” in the Pacific Ocean.  The way we Americans like to anthropomorphize weather is a product of the media creating overly melodramatic headlines for which they then can provide the information and/or solutions, and the generalized population’s passive acceptance of the peril that they are told is lurking just around every corner….

Massive...and massively beautiful from the ISS.

Massive…and massively beautiful from the ISS.

the-culture-of-fear-9781572703544-e1383792768880Featured headlines such as “Super Typhoon Neoguri Takes Aim at the Ryukyus,” or “Typhoon Neoguri Lashes Out at Okinawa,” and even “Typhoon Targets Japan!” and characterized as “Breaking News!” do nothing to help diminish what I call America’s “culture of fear.”  Storms are storms, a force of nature (call them acts of god if you will), and they neither direct at us (mankind) nor intend us any premeditated harm.  Rather, it is in our own fairly fool-hardy ways that we open ourselves to – and fail to protect ourselves sufficiently from these particular insults of Mother Nature.  Perhaps the most inane banner yet so far:  “Super Typhoon Neoguri Strongest of 2014!”

It’s only the strongest…because…it’s the FIRST of 2014.  Dumbasses.

Yes, it’s the strongest.  Duh.  It also happens to be the first for Japan in 2014.  It could have been a really ridiculously bad thunderstorm and that headline would’ve still run….

The eye passing close to Okinawa, outlined just beyond the dark blue band

The eye passing close to Okinawa, outlined just beyond the dark blue band

Three typhoons at once!

Three typhoons at once!

Last year I wrote a blog about how typhoons are regarded in Okinawa after something like our 8th or 9th typhoon of the season.  In that treatise, I tried to capture the very basic differences in the Far East versus American West cultural perspectives and their resulting diverse approach(es) to weathering such tempests.  You can read that blog here:  Typhoons, a Divinely Okinawan Experience.

"Typhoon Alley"

“Typhoon Alley”

The satellite photos are dramatic, the surf is kicking, and the winds are literally rocking our seismically-isolated building-on-rollers.  The surfers have all exited the water, and there are no remaining visitors to our seawall.  Our balconies have been cleared, and remaining items are secured.  We have water, foodstuffs, and plenty of candles.  Although we do prepare, it is with a refreshing lack of panic that is largely absent in Japan…but happens to be the hallmark of enduring hurricanes in the States.

It'll be worse AFTER the storm passes....

It’ll be worse AFTER the storm passes….

We’re okay, and we’ll be fine.  This is the safest place we will ever live…especially when it involves withstanding a Super Typhoon!

Cheers,

Kevin & Jody, Okinawa, Japan