[QODLink]
Weather
The final days of Jelawat
After more than a week of disruptive weather, the former super typhoon has finally begun to show signs of weakening.
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2012 10:21

Damage from Typhoon Jelawat in Naha City, Okinawa [AFP]

Despite being downgraded to a tropical storm, former typhoon, Jelawat continues its sweep of the western Pacific, unleashing huge amounts of rain across the southern islands of Japan.

Jelawat has affected the weather pattern across much of the western Pacific since it began life as a tropical depression. As it developed and strengthened into a tropical storm around 20 September, it was centred to the east of the Philippines.

Feeding off the warm waters of the Philippine Sea, it intensified to reach super typhoon status, with sustained winds of 240kph.

Despite remaining to the east of the Philippines, it tended to draw warm moist air in from the South China Sea. The result was that many locations, even in western areas, recorded half a month’s rainfall in just 24 hours.

As Jelawat barrelled northwards it merely flicked past Taiwan before unleashing its strongest winds and heaviest rain across the Ryuku Islands of Japan. Many of these islands were hit with winds of 230 kph and rainfall totals of between 200 and 300mm.

Okinawa was one such island. Despite a recorded wind speed at the American Air Force base of 290 kph there was only one reported fatality and less than 60 injuries – testament to the island’s efficient disaster management.

The islanders have had plenty of practice in dealing with such events – Jelawat is the fourth typhoon to hit the islands since August, having been preceded by Sanba, Bolaven and Haikui.

Cooler ocean waters and wind shear in the upper atmosphere are now beginning to disperse Jelawat’s energy but at one stage this mightly storm extended from Luzon in the south to Kyushu in the north, a distance of around 1,800 kilometres and the weather across a huge swathe of eastern Asia was affected.

A final ‘sting in the tail’ may occur across Honshu, where there is a significant risk of landslides in the southwest of the island from the heavy rain which is predicted to fall.

356

Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
join our mailing list