Monday, September 29, 2008

More on Typhoons and Mountains

This has been a very bad season for typhoons causing havoc in Taiwan's mountains - and it doesn't seem to be over yet! Two images are keeping me from sleeping well these days. This from the Central Weather Bureau's website today (Tuesday September 30).It shows the paths, and predicted paths of JANGMI (no 15, now skirting Japan), MEKKHALA (no16, heading for Vietnam), and HIGOS (no 17, about to visit The Philippines).

There is speculation that the more frequent stronger typhoons later this year is due to the La Nina effect and the westward migration of warmer seas. When these warm water-dependent storms develop further away they have more time to gain strength.

Then again, Taiwan has had it's fair share of typhoons over the years. This map, from Wikimedia Commons, shows the tracks of all tropical cyclones in the Northwest Pacific Ocean from 1980 to 2005. The International Date Line, on the right, is the eastern boundary of the basin. The points show the locations of the storms at six-hourly intervals. Taiwan and lucky Luzon are almost invisible.Many trails and mountain roads have been damaged. The long awaited reopening of Daba may not happen until the end of the year now.