Guerilla downpours in Japan


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.

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