Thursday, August 6, 2009

What does Morakot mean?

Taiwan is about to be engulfed in a typhoon.

I have been obsessively watching the radar of Typhoon Morakot. The storm is actually quite large and it appears the eye will be almost directly over Taoyuan by Friday night.

It's funny to see this tiny little island covered by the storm on a satellite picture. I can't even imagine a storm that covers Texas, much less the entire USA. The size of this country is still a little bizarre to me.

I read that the high-wind portion of the storm (technical term) is estimated to be about 250km (about 150 miles) wide. That's less than the distance between Austin and Dallas.

I know it's supposed to be scary, but I'm actually kind of excited to finally get through my very first typhoon. I've never been in one before. I've seen my fair share of tornados though.

Morakot — which is apparently Thai for emerald — is currently rated a Category 1 storm on both the Western and Taiwanese scales, though it is quickly picking up speed. Apparently, in Taiwan they only have Tropical Depression, Category 1, Category 2 and Category 3, as opposed to the Western version with a Tropical Depression, a Tropical Storm and then Categories 1-5.

Wunderground shows that the storm will be a Category 3 (on both scales) by the time it hits us directly. The eye should make landfall tonight on the East coast. Winds are can get high upward of 130 mph. (Yes, I used Google to convert that from kilometers. The metric system means nothing to me.)

I was told to be careful of flooding, but living on the 15th floor, I somehow don't believe that will be an issue.

I guess I need to head over to the Carrefour to buy some water (the water mains will probably shut off if it gets as bad as they say) and food to get us through the next two days.

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