Life in Japan, food, music, whatever…

Farmlog 3rd August 2009 4 August, 2009

Filed under: countryside — johnraff @ 2:46 pm
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Last week we couldn’t even get up to the farm because torrential rain had caused a landslip and blocked the road. Sunday started out the same way; the rain followed us most of the way, rivers were swollen and brown with mud, but we got through OK.

Chinese Trumpet Vine or "nozenkazura".

Chinese Trumpet Vine or "nozenkazura", typical summer flower in full bloom in front of the house.

  • Hey! No leech encounters this time! (relief)
  • Monday turned out to be the first day of Summer – hot and sweltering. The weather bureau got tired of answering “when will the Rainy Season end?” and officially announced it was over, although we’re due more rain on Wednesday and Thursday…
  • Sinister footprints inside the Green Zone netted off and supposedly deer-free where the chillies are trying to grow. Hmm, no damage to the plants yet, so I closed off any gaps I could see in the net, but I’m not sure how they got in, if they were deer footprints. Fingers crossed…
  • Min temp unknown (I forgot to check) max 25°C

Where’s our Summer? 27 July, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — johnraff @ 8:26 pm
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Hey, come on, the Rainy Season should have ended around the 20th, and by rights we’d now be basking in day after day of blistering sunshine, with temperatures peaking in the high 30’s (°C). Hmm… well there’s been another outbreak of devastating floods in Kyushu, with people killed, houses destroyed and over 20,000 taking refuge in school halls. Meanwhile, yesterday we gave up trying to drive out to the farm as the road had been washed away in one place, and here in Nagoya it’s been rain every day, as the humidity goes up and up.

According to the weather forecast we’re in for another straight week of cloud and rain, and no particular guarantee of Summer starting even after that! There’s an “El Nino” phenomenon going on apparently, so the usual Pacific high pressure area is not doing it’s stuff.



Guerilla Rain 4 September, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johnraff @ 2:57 pm
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Guerilla Rain is what they call those sudden fierce downpours that seem to be getting more and more common. What we’d call flash floods I suppose. In July they had an attack in Kobe, where four people were swept away, then in Tokyo five sewer workers.

Last Thursday night we had a taste here in Nagoya. It suddenly started pouring, water came in under out garage shutter, and while we were nervously watching the TV news we noticed a pool forming under out living room window. I ran out and pulled off the dead leaves that were blocking the drain hole of our veranda (got soaked in the 3~4 seconds that it took) and the 15cm of water that had built up soon went down… They were saying later that in Nagoya about 100mm of water fell in that hour. Down the road in Okazaki they got 140mm, many houses were flooded, and again two people were drowned. One old lady was found washed up on the coast 40 Km away. More recently, some places in the area have had 400~odd mm of rain in 24 hours.

These are serious quantities of rain when you think about it. 500mm is half a metre of water spread over many square kilometres. No wonder little streams turn into raging torrents, and mountains crumble. While Japan certainly gets plenty of rain, this is unusual for August, or any time for that matter. The cause seems to be that the Pacific high pressure area that usually brings the hot but clear Summer weather has given up, swathes of hot moist air are coming up from the South and colliding with cold air from the Asian continent – right here.

Still, there have been no typhoons up this way so far (touch wood) so we’re luckier than people in the Caribbean who seem to be getting hit by one cyclone after another, not to mention India, where a river has changed course. Back in the day, everything used to be blamed on The Bomb, now it’s Global Warming, though that seems more credible.



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