Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Unstable Weather

Late summer in Japan is a time of very unstable weather, as typhoons and other monsoonal storms move up from the south. These rapid changes in the weather seem particularly pronounced here in Otaki. Because the Kiso Region is located at the southern tip of the Japanese Alps the area gets the first smack of all the storms rolling in from both the Japan Sea and Pacific Ocean.

An amazing thunderstorm passed through Otaki today. There had been fair weather in the morning; fair enough to get my laundry done. But clouds began gathering just after noon. It was a monsoonal storm, and it flowed in quickly across the mountains from the southwest.
The sky was filled with electricity, and my body anticipated the strikes of lightening that soon began ripping through the sky. Thunder rolled out in thick blankets that rumbled down out of the clouds and across the mountains. I stood mesmerized watching the sky as it continued to flash and rumble; rain began to fall in torrents from the sky.

I had some good video of a lightening strike, but couldn't get the format worked out. But, here's another that has some decent sound of the thunder.

This morning the mountains were still soggy and drapped in thick clouds, but by about 9:00 I could see blue skies. Now the sky is a rich blue, with stacks of fluffly cumulus clouds billowing up behind the ridgelines to the south--perhaps a sign of the next coming storm.

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