Turns out the winds from Monday and Tuesday were due to Typhoon Nabi. On September 2nd, it was categoried as a Super Typhoon, Category 5, the same as Hurrican Katrina and it was forecasted to hit the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula by this morning. YIKES! Luckily for us, by September 4th, it had been downgraded to Category 3 and was shifting its course more towards Japan. This picture was taken on September 2nd while the Typhoon was still some 600 miles south of Japan:
Here is a link to an amazing high resolution pic of this image:
High res picture of Super Typhoon Nabi on September 2, 2005
Tuesday afternoon here in Asia, Nabi hit the southern Japanese island of Kyushu with winds over about 160 kilometers per hour and now reports are that seven people have died as a result.
I think though what surprised me was how a typhoon in Japan affected us. I decided to look at a map of the area, and was shocked at two things: 1. How relatively close Korea and Japan are and 2. How little I actually know of the geography of Asia!
Here's a satellite picture of the storm as of Tuesday night at 6pm, our time:
It is now in the middle of the Sea of Japan and well past the southern island of Kyushu. And it is starting to break up. But from what I read on the Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Center's website, there is another Tropical Storm forming into a Typhoon and it is heading for Hong Kong...
With all the news of Hurricane Katrina, I've failed to take notice of the weather in my own area. Typhoon season is here. We are at least on the western side of the Korean peninsula, away from the Sea of Japan and out of the line of fire from Typhoons (I think!). I'll have to keep a better eye on what's going on here and will keep you updated.