Updated Extreme Weather: Typhoon Francisco Downgraded

The previous post on Super Typhoon Francisco generated a lot of hits here at Big Sushi, Little Fishes, which makes me think (though I hope this is not true) that some people may be relying on this blog for updates on an issue which, for some, has pressing personal interest while for others is a virtual form of storm chasing. For the record, I’m somewhere between the two but trending toward the former since I actually do live in Tokyo where Typhoon Francisco, like Typhoon Wipha before her, and all of their brethren seem to end up – albeit in diminished form.

Over at wunderground.com, source of the typhoon tracking map I’ve used previously, Dr. Jeff Masters is apparently “co-founder and director of meteorology  at Weather Underground“. In any case, he has a “Dr.” in front of his name and some impressive looking digital imagery of weather systems on his site, so I’m gonna go with him on this when he blogged Monday GMT “that Category 2 Typhoon Francisco has steadily weakened on Sunday and Monday, after spending just over a day as Earth’s third Category 5 storm of 2013 on Saturday.” Does this mean we here in Japan are free and clear? Not quite: “Francisco’s interaction with a cold front over Japan during this process will bring very heavy rains to Japan, and these rains will pose a serious flooding threat, as the soils have not had a chance to dry out much from the record rains that Typhoon Wipha brought last week.”

So, better news but not the best. But if you wanna see something really scary, scroll down on Dr. masters’ blog to see a report on Harbin, China’s bad-air day, when air pollution levels reached 400 times the WHO’s “Safe” level (25 micrograms; Harbin’s air on October 21st reached 1,000 micrograms). Watch the embedded video and follow the links on Masters’ blog to more images.


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