Guerilla downpours in Japan

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In the last ten years or so it seems that sudden and difficult to forecast thunderstorms have increased; they have been named guerilla downpours, and this survey from Weather News looked at awareness of such storms.

The average guerilla storm will brew up in an hour or so, often going from bright daylight to night-like darkness and accompanied by a 5 to 10 degrees Celsius temperature drop, before dumping from about 50mm to over 100mm of rain in an hour.

Many Japanese, including my wife, seem over-anxious about lightning; I grew up where lightning was rare, then first experienced a serious electrical storm in France, which I watched with a beer in my hand from a hotel terrace, but now I’m not even allowed to look out the window…

Here’s some thunder and lightning everyone loves – Kaminari (thunder/lightning) Gate at Sensouji Temple in Asakusa. The large lantern guarded by the God of Lightning is a gift from Matsushita (now Panasonic) Electrical, and the very first product of the company was an adapter for light sockets that provided a plug along with the bulb, so might say the God of Lightning is guarding a gift from the God of Lighting.

Senso-ji_Temple-Kaminari-mon

Research results

Q1: In the last five years have you ever felt your life threatened by guerilla downpours? (Sample size=9,602)

Yes (to SQ)
16.4%
No
83.6%

Q1SQ: At that time/these times, what concrete danger did you feel? (Sample size=life threatened people, multiple answer)

Nearby lightning
69.2%
Getting stranded on a flooded road
35.5%
River water level suddenly rising while outdoors
7.0%
Losing a wheel when driving a flooded road and unable to tell where the road edge is
4.2%
House getting flooded
3.9%
Driving unawares into a flooded underpass
3.3%

Q2: Which is scarier, lightning or downpours? (Sample size=9,602)

Definitely lightning
30.5%
Perhaps lightning
24.8%
Perhaps downpours
25.3%
Definitely downpours
9.4%

Q3: Have made preparations for guerrilla downpours? (Sample size=9,602)

Completely prepared
1.4%
Mostly prepared
24.9%
Not really prepared
49.7%
No preparations at all
24.0%

Demographics

Between the 22nd and 26th of July 2017 9,602 users of Weather News’s smartphone app “Weather News Touch” completed a survey presented through said app. No further demographics were given.

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