Rare Japanese tornado kills 1, injures 48

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:28 PM GMT on May 07, 2012

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A rare strong tornado ripped through Ibaraki Prefecture in eastern Japan 30 miles northeast of Tokyo on Sunday, killing a teenage boy, injuring 48 people, and damaging or destroying 890 buildings. The tornado carved a path of destruction 15 km long and 500 meters wide, said the Japan Meteorological Agency. The tornado was given a preliminary rating of F-2, with winds of 113 - 157 mph (Japan uses the traditional "F" scale to rate tornadoes, not the "EF" scale used in the U.S.) The tornado also damaged homes in a housing complex in Tsukuba where 20 people from seven families from Fukushima Prefecture had evacuated following the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, caused by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. I bet those families are feeling disaster-prone!


Video 1. A rare tornado in Japan hits approximately 30 miles northeast of Tokyo on May 6, 2012.

Japan's tornado climatology
Tornadoes are rare in Japan, due to the fact the nation is surrounded by ocean, which tends to stabilize the air. Between 1961 - 2010, an average of 15 tornadoes per year hit Japan, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. Only four F-3 tornadoes have hit Japan. The most recent F-3 hit on November 7, 2006, in the Wakasa area of Saroma, Hokkaido. Nine people died and 26 were injured. Over 30 buildings, including a dwelling, warehouses and temporary structures were damaged or destroyed. No violent F-4 or F-5 tornadoes have been recorded in Japan, according the Japan Meteorological Agency, though other sources list a December, 1990 tornado as having been an F-4. Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has more details in his latest post, Deadliest Tornadoes. Only one F-2 tornado hit Japan in both 2010 and 2011. A 1997 study published in the Journal of Climate found that Japanese tornadoes occurred most frequently in September and least frequently in March, and that typhoons were responsible for about 20% of all the tornadoes. A list of Asian tornado outbreaks maintained at Wikipedia lists the deadliest Japanese tornado as one on 6 September, 1881, which killed 16 people.


Figure 1. Distribution of tornadoes in Japan, 1961 - 2010. Image credit: Japan Meteorological Agency.

Jeff Masters

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Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8035
Good afternoon Nigel, how is the weather in Jamaica today? I can tell you that in Puerto Rico for a change,less rain has fallen today if compared with the past few days. Temperatures are in the mid 80's.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Afternoon all. The weather here today is absolutely gorgeous.... 88 degrees, lots of sun and a light breeze make for a super National Election day. Tonight's forecast should make for a clear and cool evening during which the celebrations of the winning party can be held.

I've already voted and am now cooling out as I observe the spectacle via TV, radio, and internet.

Later!

Good afternoon Baha..good to know that you are having great weather
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8035
nrtiwlnvragn,I know that NOAA will release their 2012 Hurricane forecasts for North Atlantic,EPAC and CPAC around the third week of May,but my question is,do you know the exact date?
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Looks like precursor of things to come for SE TX
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
Loud thunder clap here at the office
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
Quoting RitaEvac:


Just saw that myself and it brought a smile to my face!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:




I got me some rain coming
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6495
Quoting Jedkins01:




It looks like a strong line of thunderstorms, but be careful using the word derecho, that would be a line of thunderstorms producing particularly strong winds across the entire line.




As you can see, there are not favorable conditions ahead of this line for a derecho.

That... is a page I didn't look at.

I stand corrected.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5882
Quoting aspectre:
AtHomeInTX: Thanks DRM. I hope Japan gets a nice long break from disasters and soon.
62 Some1Has2BtheRookie: What is left for Japan to get? A major volcanic eruption? ... Let us hope not!


Not that ya can really blame the Universe for wanting to be protected from us.


That could explain why we are out on the fringe of our galaxy. .... Just waiting for the slingshot effect to kick in. ;-)
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Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
AtHomeInTX: Thanks DRM. I hope Japan gets a nice long break from disasters and soon.
62 Some1Has2BtheRookie: What is left for Japan to get? A major volcanic eruption? ... Let us hope not!

Not that ya can really blame the Universe
for wanting to be protected from us.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jeffs713:
Could be a derecho setting up over Northern and Central MS right now... a solid line looks to be forming up.




It looks like a strong line of thunderstorms, but be careful using the word derecho, that would be a line of thunderstorms producing particularly strong winds across the entire line.




As you can see, there are not favorable conditions ahead of this line for a derecho.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Afternoon all. The weather here today is absolutely gorgeous.... 88 degrees, lots of sun and a light breeze make for a super National Election day. Tonight's forecast should make for a clear and cool evening during which the celebrations of the winning party can be held.

I've already voted and am now cooling out as I observe the spectacle via TV, radio, and internet.

Later!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:



Clouds are really building over here. How is by you? It looks like the west coast seabreeze is now starting to fire some convection as well.



Even though we technically have a chance of thunderstorms here today I'm not expecting any because the sea breeze has already pushed east of here, I live to close to the coast under this pattern. My best chance of rain will be overnight and morning the next couple days as higher moisture (PWAT 1.8 to 2 inches) moves in out of the southwest.


I actually was camping southest of Orlando this weekend, I happened to be impacted by one of those isolated strong thunderstorms that popped around the area yesterday, a lot of close lightning hits near where I was.
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Quoting jeffs713:
Could be a derecho setting up over Northern and Central MS right now... a solid line looks to be forming up.


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting Jedkins01:



Cape is currently 1000 to 1500, but it will get much higher, because it is 2500 to 3500 on either side of Florida over water, peak heating isn't even close to being attained yet.


Yeah I know that's why I'll just post the warnings as they come out as the atmosphere is quite unstable here especially with steep lapse rates and 500mb temps at -11.5C. THese storms could even build all the way to the west coast later as I'm these storms just to my east are going to put out one mean outflow boundary.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting Jedkins01:



Cape is currently 1000 to 1500, but it will get much higher, because it is 2500 to 3500 on either side of Florida over water, peak heating isn't even close to being attained yet.



Clouds are really building over here. How is by you? It looks like the west coast seabreeze is now starting to fire some convection as well.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Could be a derecho setting up over Northern and Central MS right now... a solid line looks to be forming up.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5882
Quoting jeffs713:

Possibly, but conditions aren't ideal (k-index is "meh", and LI is marginal for a severe threat). Rain looks like more of a threat than strong winds or hail. CAPE is also in the 1000-1500 range.



Cape is currently 1000 to 1500, but it will get much higher, because it is 2500 to 3500 on either side of Florida over water, peak heating isn't even close to being attained yet.
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Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21249
Undular bore over northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota
May 2nd, 2012 Surface outflow from dissipating convection over southern Manitoba, Canada during the pre-dawn hours on 02 May 2012 created an undular bore, which then propagated southeastward across northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. AWIPS images of 4-km resolution GOES-13 10.7 Ám IR channel data followed by 1-km resolution GOES-13 0.63 Ám visible channel data after sunrise (above) showed the undular bore wave clouds. Surface winds associated with this convective outflow gusted to 30 knots in southern Manitoba at 12 UTC and 27 knots in northwestern Minnesota
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21249
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
125 PM EDT MON MAY 7 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
SOUTH CENTRAL VOLUSIA COUNTY IN FLORIDA


* UNTIL 215 PM EDT.

* AT 122 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
DELTONA...AND MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 10 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO...
LAKE ASHBY
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
31 hydrus: [Animated Weather Map] [Satellite VisibleLight Photo Animation]
Of particular interest was the amount of sea ice motion during this relatively short 8-hour period -- several ice leads opened up and became very prominent features on both the visible and the IR
[Satellite InfraRedLight Photo Animation]

GREAT catch. First time I've actually seen the weather breaking up a large segment of the sea-ice sheet.
Wish I coulda given that comment more than just one plus.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
rita are you scaring people again


Getting em prepared
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
Quoting StormTracker2K:


This is from JAX as the NWS in Melbourne has all of this info unavailable.




Right. That is northern FL. I was looking more at the NOAA maps for central FL. Northern FL has better dynamics, but I don't see a major severe threat for either. Rain, yes. Storms, yes. Severe, no.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5882
Here is that Mesoscale Convective Vortex from a few days ago...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21249
Quoting jeffs713:

Possibly, but conditions aren't ideal (k-index is "meh", and LI is marginal for a severe threat). Rain looks like more of a threat than strong winds or hail. CAPE is also in the 1000-1500 range.


This is from JAX as the NWS in Melbourne has all of this info unavailable.



Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Rather benign Atlantic SST anomalies






North Atlantic cooled quite a bit compared to last week.




I've come to realize that product is so flawed it's useless.

the northern and western gulf have been 1 to 2C above average every day for the past week, but the weekly product shows it as just average, contradicting their own data.

In fact, yesterday and the day before, parts of the Gulf were actually 3C above average.

I have a habit of watching it all for myself, but yeah, it really is that bad.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Monthly Ocean Briefing





Some changes to El Nino/La Nina epsiodes:


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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Could see a severe thunderstorm watch issued for C FL soon due to the unstable nature of the atmosphere.


Possibly, but conditions aren't ideal (k-index is "meh", and LI is marginal for a severe threat). Rain looks like more of a threat than strong winds or hail. CAPE is also in the 1000-1500 range.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5882
Could see a severe thunderstorm watch issued for C FL soon due to the unstable nature of the atmosphere.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting fireflymom:
They already have active Volcano's so nothing new till Mothra.  There are 108 active volcanoes in Japan.  Sakura-jima has live web cams available.


I think he meant major eruption. The US has dozens of active volcanoes, only a few of which are erupting, and none are major eruptions.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5882
I LOVE this! :D


86 year old spearheads new recycling program

LONGVIEW, TX (KYTX) - 86 year old Bobby Jo Walker isn't going green, she's been green. Now her retirement home is recycling right along with her.

Her goal is to make Longview an even better community for future generations to enjoy.

Bobby Jo Walker says she had a dream. "The vision that I had was that I was standing on a top of a mountains pile of waste," explains Walker. Waste Bobby Jo knew, from years of recycling in her own home, didn't have to go to waste.

"It was a dream to see this be accomplished," says Walker. Wednesday Buckner Westminster Place celebrated the beginning of recycling at the retirement home. It was a dream Bobby Jo had when she moved in more than 5 years ago. "When I got out here and realized all the waste being collected, I thought there's got to be a way," says Walker.

There is residential curbside recycling in Longview but not for businesses, apartments and retirement homes. So she turned to Allied Waste. The company based in kilgore, provides the recycling option for the home.

"Having a recycle container at a facility like this is perfect because most senior citizens either remember or they lived through the depression where they had to recycle for survival. In WWII, it was a matter of national security. To put it simply, they get it," says Gene Keenon with Allied Waste.

Wednesday, residents at the senior home brought paper, aluminum and plastics that could be recycled. "This is our answer. We've done it," says Walker.

To make it easy, Buckner Westminster has made sure to use a single stream method which means all recyclables can be thrown into the bin together and sorted later.

Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 160
Quoting ScottLincoln:


As long as Japan is using the old F-scale the way it was used in the US (as a damage scale, not a wind scale), then no. Damage from an F2 tornado would be the same as damage from an EF2 tornado... the difference is that the wind estimates on the EF scale were greatly refined.

Knowing the issues with the wind estimates from the old F-scale, putting the estimated wind speeds in the blog post was probably confusing.

Thanks scottlincoln, much appreciated
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8035
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
31. hydrus

Amazing imagery. :) I couldn't imagine a cold cyclone.
And all that happened in 8 hours. Things are changing fast up there.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21249
They already have active Volcano's so nothing new till Mothra.  There are 108 active volcanoes in Japan.  Sakura-jima has live web cams available.
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


What is left for Japan to get? A major volcanic eruption? .... Let us hope not!

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Quoting Chucktown:
A little Monday morning comedy about farting dinosaurs and how it contributed to climate change !!

Link


No fear of that happening here today. They have all been transported to Venus. ;-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:
Good morning all...thanks Dr. Masters. On the EF scale, could the Japanese tornado be classified as An EF3?


As long as Japan is using the old F-scale the way it was used in the US (as a damage scale, not a wind scale), then no. Damage from an F2 tornado would be the same as damage from an EF2 tornado... the difference is that the wind estimates on the EF scale were greatly refined.

Knowing the issues with the wind estimates from the old F-scale, putting the estimated wind speeds in the blog post was probably confusing.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3193
Quoting aspectre:
49 nrtiwlnvragn: Different "facts" in this version, 520 tons annually.

Apparently corrected to "...520 million tonnes...annually..." since you posted.


My fault, I left out the million.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Thanks DRM. I hope Japan gets a nice long break from disasters and soon.


What is left for Japan to get? A major volcanic eruption? .... Let us hope not!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
49 nrtiwlnvragn: Different "facts" in this version, 520 tons annually.

Apparently corrected to "...520 million tonnes...annually..." since you posted.
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Here we go!

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting RitaEvac:


Yes, indeed it is, as chaos spreads across the globe it will be fun to watch
rita are you scaring people again
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53846
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


That SST analysis uses an "old" and limited climatology for it's anomalies:

The monthly mean SST climatologies were then derived by averaging these satellite SSTs during the time period of 1985-1993. Observations from the years 1991 and 1992 were omitted due to the aerosol contamination from the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

Link


So only 7 years of data from 1985-1993 are used which results in a "warm bias".

Thanks for the info nrt.
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8035
Quoting nigel20:

Here is today's SST Anomaly


That SST analysis uses an "old" and limited climatology for it's anomalies:

The monthly mean SST climatologies were then derived by averaging these satellite SSTs during the time period of 1985-1993. Observations from the years 1991 and 1992 were omitted due to the aerosol contamination from the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

Link


So only 7 years of data from 1985-1993 are used which results in a "warm bias".
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www.solarham.com

M1.9 Solar Flare - Up Close (5/7/2012)

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Most who have experienced chaos,or wholesale calamity, never would take that view, been my sperience.
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Quoting Patrap:
..relax, and enjoy a nice cold Fresca.

The Season is only weeks away.


Yes, indeed it is, as chaos spreads across the globe it will be fun to watch
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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