Typhoons

Coming from SW Colorado, we’re extremely landlocked.  So when we first heard “typhoon” we were, understandably confused. For one, we don’t use the word “typhoon” in America. And two, we have never experienced anything like it (no hurricanes).

A few weeks ago there was “Super Typhoon Neoguri” that was supposed to absolutely wreck Japan. Korea was supposed to get some flooding in the south (the south of the south, yeah.). With a quick google search we learned that our area gets 15-60 typhoons every year. So it left us wondering… what is a typhoon?  How close is it to being a hurricane? A tropical storm? Does it have anything to do with monsoons?

Laugh all you want. When you come from a super landlocked place, you have to ask these things.

  • A typhoon is a hurricane. So not a tropical storm and not really a monsoon. Although you can have “typhoon season” about as much as you can have “monsoon season”
  • Hurricanes, typhoons, and even cyclones, are actually all the same exact thing. But because the English language is stupid and we over-name everything, these storm-names can only be assigned to certain regions.
  • A “hurricane” is only the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific. Which explains why Americans take the word “hurricane” more seriously than “typhoon.”
  • In the Northwest Pacific (Asia!) you call it a  “typhoon” and in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean you would say “cyclone.”

We are, actually a little pleased to report, that we are now in the middle/at risk of two typhoons. “Typhoon Nakri”  which was supposed to be “dangerous for the nation” all day today left us with a little sprinkle of rain during the day and its raining just a little now. Everything is quite fine. Then Typhoon Halong is coming for us.

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Right for us. Unless, of course, it changes course.

If it does hit us we’ll just get some windy days and possible flooding. We’re not too worried. Typhoons aren’t really lethal here – a bad one hit in 2012 that killed one person.

But where we are,  in the scientific research town of Gwanpyeong. We’ve got great big gutters and some hills even have their own concrete gutters to stop mudslides.There aren’t even enough mountains to create mudslides. The river, I guess, could flood, but it seems unlikely. If everything goes to hell, we are almost on the top story of our apartment.

If anything we’re probably too cheery about this. Theres something interesting about experiencing a “hurricane” when you’ve seen nothing but drought. The clouds have been big and beautiful, the rain has been warm. Yeah, we got soaked twice, but thats the nature of going outside in late July/August even in Colorado.

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It’s hard not to like it. Between blustery typhoon-y winds and the summer, the skies are finally clear. No smog, no fog and no yellow dust. We saw stars for the first time in months recently – very exciting. Also we saw a sunset – very rare (partially because we’re facing the wrong way in the apartment).

Most importantly, the wind from all the rain has left the apartment a little cooler.

Say what you want. So far it’s actually been beneficial to us.

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