Thursday, August 2, 2012

Typhoon Saola: How's That Ark Coming Along?

Typhoon Saola hovering over Taiwan

All things considered, Taoyuan City is a good place to weather a typhoon.  We seem to be fairly well protected from the wind.  The infrastructure is pretty good.  We don’t see a lot of flooding in the streets.  The place stays in pretty good shape through it all.  As a result we have been a bit cocky when it comes to typhoons, we laugh and joke and say things like, “Typhoons are boring!” 

Emily and I even took the car and went looking for one, one time.  We went with great bravado.  We acted as if we were fearless and intrepid adventurers; defying death to peer into the belly of the dragon…well you get the idea.   There wasn’t much to see that time, though. 

But that was then, this is now.  Things are a little different this time.  Typhoon Saola is cranking through, even as I write this post.  Once again, the natural protection around Taoyuan City has protected us from the wind.  It gusts up a little bit but not the 38m/s (85 mph) that the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) told us to expect.  But my, oh my look at it rain.

Taoyuan City Rainfall:  140mm (5.5 in)  Then it really started to rain!
Near Yilan, where the typhoon started toward the coast, rainfall accumulated over the last three days has been 1348 mm (53.07 inches).  That’s a whole lotta rainfall, baby.  Southern California doesn’t see that much rain in 4 years unless El Nino is really rolling.

The average monthly rainfall for July is 269 mm (10.6 in), for August it’s 266 mm (10.5 in).  Three-day rainfall from Typhoon Saola 1348 mm (53.07 in) that’s more than twice as much rainfall as the average for July and August combined. 

Generally, I don’t really worry about the rain, especially if I don’t have to go out in it.  After all, this is the rainy season.  We are nearing the end of the Plum Rains (summer monsoons), so it is expected that there’d be a bit of rain.  This time, though, things got personal. Water came in through the roof and flowed down the stairs and flooded the first floor, destroying a bunch of furniture and stuff on the way down.  No peaked roofs in Taiwan, so you’ve got to keep drains and things flowing clear, otherwise you’re in trouble in a typhoon like this.

Typhoon Saola just before sweeping across the Northern tip of Taiwan!
We have survived so far, because our landlord came riding in like an avenging army and fought back the floods.  Typhoons just seem to call for hyperbole…In the storm drenched city of Taoyuan a lone man stood like a fortress against the marauding forces of wind and rain…or something like that. 

We wanted to see what a real typhoon felt like.  I guess we found out.  It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, still a day or two of rain to go!  Whee!

This storm is from a typhoon in 2011.  Multiply this rainfall by a factor of 10 for Saola.

Other Posts you May be interested in:

Here it Comes:  Typhoon Conson
Taiwanese Weather:  Monsoons and Typhoons

All weather information, charts and tracking:  Taiwan Central Weather Bureau


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