Unusual Weather Alert: Tornado Near Tokyo





http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/

AFTERMATH OF TORNADO NEAR TOKYO

People near Tokyo are picking up the pieces after a tornado struck parts of eastern Japan on Monday afternoon. Powerful winds injured 64 people, 7 of them seriously.

The tornado struck Koshigaya and Matsubushi in Saitama Prefecture, as well as Noda in Chiba Prefecture.

Police and city officials say the winds damaged more than 600 buildings.

Firefighters in Koshigaya are going around the city to assess the damage and check whether there are any places that pose danger.

Some people in the affected areas are still without electricity. Local people are handing out rice balls to those who cannot cook at home.

Trucks are collecting debris in areas of Noda hit by the winds — including a 5-meter-long wooden pillar.

About 90 people spent the night in 5 temporary shelters in Koshigaya.

They include a 74-year-old woman who said her house is full of broken glass. She said she’s worried because she doesn’t know when she can go back home.

Sep. 3, 2013 – Updated 02:57 UTC

WEATHER COMBINATION CREATES LIKELY TORNADO

Japan’s Meteorological Agency says a likely tornado near Tokyo at 2PM local time was due to atmospheric instability caused by warm, humid air developing under a cold front.

Weather officials say a cold air mass around minus 5 to 6 degrees Celsius had built above Japan at about 6,000 meters.

Southerly and northerly winds clashed above Saitama and Chiba prefectures. This created a condition where ascending air currents could easily generate.

The agency’s radar images showed cumulonimbus clouds developing in southern Saitama shortly before 2 PM. These were traveling northeastward and flowing into Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures.
The combination increased the likelihood of sudden gusts including tornados.

Sep. 2, 2013 – Updated 09:37 UTC

LIKELY TORNADO INJURES 63 NEAR TOKYO

A likely tornado near Tokyo has injured at least 63 people. One reportedly suffered a fractured skull.

The police and fire departments in Koshigaya City in Saitama Prefecture say powerful winds ripped through parts of the city and damaged more than 320 houses.

Officials of adjacent Matsubushi Town say gusts damaged about 60 buildings.

A suspected tornado also hit the city of Noda in Chiba Prefecture.

City fire department officials say about 150 houses were damaged.

They say winds also left utility poles tilting and overturned cars.

Sep. 2, 2013 – Updated 10:53 UTC

METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY TO ANALYZE ABNORMAL WEATHER

Japan’s Meteorological Agency has decided to ask experts next month to analyze the cause of the country’s extreme weather patterns this summer.

A scorching heat wave has affected many parts of Japan. In Shimanto City in Kochi Prefecture in western Japan, the temperature reached a record-high of 41 degrees Celsius on August 12th.

The temperature in August was higher than average across the country. As of 25th, it was 1.7 degrees higher than an average year in western Japan. It’s the highest since 1946, when comparable statistics became available. While in eastern Japan it was 1.6 degrees higher than average, which marks the second highest on record.

On the heat wave this summer, the agency asserts there is a high possibility this is abnormal weather and decided to hold the meeting on September 2nd to discuss the cause. The agency holds meetings with experts when very rare weather patterns, which would occur only once in 3 decades, are observed.

The panel is also going to examine the latest extreme rain patterns. Unusually heavy rains have hit prefectures along the coast of the Sea of Japan. Precipitation on the Pacific side of the country was 20 percent or less than an average year.

The agency officials say this year’s weather had a big effect. They point out that many suffered from heat stroke and water shortages. There was a lot of damage from torrential rains. The officials say they are also planning to release a weather pattern outlook based on detailed analysis of the cause of the extreme weather.

Aug. 27, 2013 – Updated 05:41 UTC

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