Typhoon Soudelor has arrived and it has not disappointed. The storm has hit squarely on Taiwan’s east coast and is expected to track northward. It doesn’t really matter where the center of the storm is though since the typhoon is much larger than Taiwan and every part of Taiwan is going to be impacted. I probably live in the least impacted place and I still have no interest in going outside.
This is a radar image from 8am Friday morning. Taiwan is under all of that. Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau has the best radar for tracking current rainfall.
I use this rainfall map all the time to decide what waterfalls to visit. The only bad thing is that they only publicly display the last 3 days and don’t archive these online. The little red dot equals 600-800mm’s (24-32 inches) of rain since midnight last night (12am – 8:30am). There is a good chance that all of the northern part of Taiwan exceeds 600 mm’s of rain by the time the storm is finished. Some mountainous areas will get well over 1000 mm’s today. These amounts are not unusual for a typhoon in Taiwan and usually occur 1-2 times/yr. You can track the daily accumulated rainfall at the CWB site (click for link). This is weatherunderground’s wundermap (satellite image). The marker is Kaohsiung and the little typhoon icons are 12 hour increments so it should be gone by tomorrow morning. I grew up in Minnesota and snow days were a reality of winter. Typhoon days are a reality in Taiwan. We usually only get 1-3 days off every year. Last night the government remained conservative and canceled classes well before the weather got bad. During my first couple of years in Taiwan they wouldn’t make typhoon announcements until the kids were in school, the parents at work and the typhoon had arrived so I can’t complain about being a little too conservative. We had some insane weather to go home in back then. Now the government has to make a decision the night before so parents can make plans for the next day.
Here is short video from my apartment balcony. This is certainly bad but Kaohsiung isn’t seeing heavy rain like the northern parts of the island and according to online comments it is much windier up north also. Note that there are people driving cars and riding scooters in this weather. Living through a typhoon is like having a 747 parked on top of your house preparing to take off. It isn’t that dangerous if you remain inside but it is quite unnerving.
The gusts have become much more powerful and there are many tree limbs and small signs down. I will be adding videos periodically throughout the day so check back.
Another satellite image from westernpacificweather.com
This is a really cool animation (yes, it’s an animation and you should click the link) from windyty.com. It shows a second typhoon but that one is smaller and it is headed northward to Japan.
Stay safe Taiwan.