T-minus 3 Days–Foreshadowing

I’ve mentioned this before, but so far on my trips to Japan, I’ve been pretty lucky so far as weather goes. On our first trip back in 2010, we encountered a record-breaking heat wave, yes, but we only experienced two short rain showers, and none of our planned activities were particularly effected. On my solo trip in 2017, I had one activity cancelled due to high winds, and in 2018, James and I had to endure an entire day of sustained, but overall fairly gentle, rain. Sure, it might have been nice at times to have greater atmospheric visibility, but all in all, it’s been pretty good.

This trip, things may change. Every time I’ve checked the weather forecast for my first few days on this trip, it’s been consistently predicting rain. Rain is not great, considering basically all of my plans are outdoors, I have to keep myself and my camera dry, it’s generally not enjoyable. And if I get wind and rain, it’s even worse, because I can’t even use the umbrella to keep the rain off the camera.

Today, I discovered the reason for the dire weather predictions. Meet TY 1919, also known as Typhoon Hagibis:


Very early this morning, while passing over the Mariana Islands, Hagibis was upgraded to a Category 5 super typhoon, with sustained wind speeds of up to 260 km/hr, and is to date the most powerful storm of the 2019 Pacific Typhoon Season. And yeah, as you can see, it’s headed pretty much directly for Tokyo. The 13th of October happens to be the day of the festival that I had to phone up and pay to reserve, and if there’s high winds on the day, it’s basically guaranteed to be cancelled, with no refunds. Even aside from the difficulty this would cause for my other plans, this makes me quite sad.

Fortunately, detailed predictions indicate that any specific location in the Kanto region only anticipates a 40% chance of seeing winds of greater than 50 knots (= 92.6 km/hr) at any point between now and 3pm on the Sunday, with the hour-by-hour predictions peaking at just 20% at around 9pm on the Saturday, and falling off afterwards – 50-knot winds are not anticipated at all on the 11th, when my flight will be landing. And there’s always the possibility that it’ll change direction or just fall apart. As I write this, it’s already been downgraded to Category 4.

Sooooo… fingers crossed?

(“Hagibis”, incidentally, is a Filipino word meaning “swiftness” or “velocity”. In case you were wondering. It’s also the name of one of the Philippines’ first comic book characters.)

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