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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

More Possible Tornadoes In Forecast

Despite a very rare tornado touching down in the northeast part of Japan on May 6, 2012, Japan's weather agency predicts more are on the way! 

One young boy was killed, with about 40 injuries and damages to about 1,000 homes and building when tornadoes struck Ibaraki-ken and Tochigi-ken.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the country could see more tornadoes on Thursday, May 9, 2012, prompted by heavy rains and atmospheric conditions just like what it saw on Sunday.

While tornadoes (tatsumaki) in Japan aren’t that common, a say, earthquakes, tsunami, Godzilla attacks and volcanic eruptions, they do occur more often than people are aware.

According to data from the Japan Meteorological Agency, there were roughly 40 windstorms that were  classified as tornadoes last year. In fact, a tornado in Kagoshima-ken killed three people last November. Of the 40 tornado categorized as such in 2011, there were 33 injuries.

The weather agency also warned that the rain clouds moving up to the eastern region could also produce hail.
Damage in Ibaraki-ken after tornado.

Hail and tornadoes. Oh my Buddha, Japan. Who did you piss off?

I would suggest parking one's car under a shelter so the hail doesn't damage it, but with Japan's current luck, the tornado will stop by first and rip off all of the shelter roofs.

“Tornadoes are unusual in this region,” says a spokesperson at the Japan Meteorological Agency, pretty much repeating what Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife has already stated. “They’re pretty unusual even in Japan.”

If the weather agency is correct, the threat of hail and tornadoes should pass by May 10, 2012.
Of course, where else does one keep their job by being correct 50% of the time, and never having to apologize for being wrong? 


  • Japan uses the Fujita Scale to measure tornado strength, from 0 to 5.  
  • Prior to the Ibaraki-ken/Tochigi-ken tornadoes this past weekend, the last tornado to hit was in February in Okinawa. It was an F0, with wind speeds of 17- to 32- meters per second (38- to 71.5-miles per hour).
  • The Ibaraki/Tochigi tornadoes have been classified as an F2, with wind speeds between 50- and 69- meters per second (112- to 154.3-mph). This wind storm could still be upgraded.
  • The strongest tornado on record (as of 1961) was in November 9, 2006 that hit Saroma, in Hokkaido, killing nine people and injuring 31. It was originally classified as an F2, but later reclassified an F3.  

The Fujita Scale

F0: 64-116 kph (40-72 mph)
F1: 117-180 kph (73-112 mph)
F2: 181-253 kph (113-157 mph)
F3: 254-332 kph (158-206 mph)
F4: 333-418 kph (207-260 mph)
F5: 419-512 kph (261-318 mph)

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