Amid whipping winds, buildings are crumbling, debris is tumbling, and people’s possessions litter the streets. Umbrellas are blown inside-out as rain is “falling sideways,” and young and old alike shield themselves and run for cover. Even trees buckle in the 125+ mile-per-hour-gusts of wind in Okinawa, Japan.
Tropical storm Neoguri bears down on the island of Okinawa, and is working its way up the coast. Named for the Asian mammal known as a raccoon dog, the storm has bared its teeth and has locals preparing for the worst.
See the video of the devastation:
Although the tropical city of Okinawa was built to withstand typhoon-strength winds, at least one building collapsed already – meaning this storm is more powerful than average.
The typhoon has killed two fishermen and injured at least 28 people so far, and as it moves farther inland those numbers could rise. More than 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate, and more than 50,000 households lost power in Okinawa.
The storm system is even visible from outer space:
— Reid Wiseman (@astro_reid) July 5, 2014
The storm is headed for the southern island of Kyushu later this week, so more damage and injury could be in store.
Currently a Category 3 hurricane, Neoguri is expected to turn east and make landfall Thursday morning on the island of Kyushu. Nuclear plants have already been shut down as a safety precaution in the city.
Although the storm has lessened in intensity, residents aren’t out of harm’s way yet – the risk of flooding and landslides in Kyushu remain. The region has had a particularly intense flood season already, but the added rains could lead to dangerous floods.
Check out this supercomputer’s rendering of Neoguri’s typhoon-force wind, which brings the storm to life. See the live version here.
Our technologies provide advanced warning of major storms and events. Our goal is to inform citizens and governments ahead of time so these disasters don’t catch anyone by surprise.
We tapped into our Total Lightning Network to trace the progression of this super storm. Whenever severe weather strikes, advance warning is key.
Take a look at the storm through the eyes of our networks:
The night of Monday, July 7 is stormy off the eastern coast of Taiwan. Earth Networks Total Lightning detects significant cloud-to-ground lightning (yellow bolts) between 5pm and 9pm local time.
Early the next morning, the systems also detect heavy in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning throughout southern Japanese prefectures. Shown here are strikes between 3 am and 5 am on the morning of July 8.
By the time that mainstream media began reporting that typhoon Neoguri had reached Okinawa, Earth Network’ PulseRad simulated radar measured that parts of mainland Japan had already seen over 50mm (2in) of precipitation.
Earth Networks Total Lightning Network detected numerous in-cloud and cloud-to-ground strikes off the cost of the Kochi prefecture between 1 pm and 5 pm local time on July 8.
At 10 pm July 8 local time, Earth Networks’ StreamerRT provides a visualization of infrared satellite, total lightning activity, and wind speeds.
UPDATE, JULY 10: Here are some more views from our network. Be safe as you ride out the storm.
Earth Networks’ Total Lightning Networks detect heavy in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning in northwestern Niigata prefecture late in the evening on July 9 and into the early morning of July 10.
PulseRad shows that some northwestern coastal cities experienced flash flooding and over 100 mm (4 inches) of rain in the past 3 days alone.
At 9:45 pm local time on July 10, Earth Networks StreamerRT provides visualization of IR Satellite, Total Lightning Activity, and Wind Gusts.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan and all the surrounding areas as they weather this storm.
Stay Safe. Know Before™.
-The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team