Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wind Directions in Japan for the Geographically Impaired

Too many clueless people. Another person, who knows nothing about Japan, or its weather or geography, takes issue with the facts I wrote in a previous blog post about the prevailing winds in Japan ALWAYS blowing from south or east from April to December and then from the north east in winter. Regardless of season, generally speaking, winds blow radiation (if there is any) away from Fukushima towards the ocean. They do not blow from Fukushima towards Tokyo. That's an impossibility. Regardless of what quacks like Arnie Gundersen say.

Laughingly, a commenter named, "S" (in a lame attempt at wit) writes:

BTW, you piqued my curiosity, so I just took a quick look at the forecast for Fukushima, here: It shows today's wind blowing SSW all day --i.e., straight towards Tokyo. You might want to call them, and explain that this is 'impossible.' Have a nice weekend.

"Have a nice weekend?" How cute. I will, thank you. And I will be laughing at you in a few minutes. 

Thanks S. I don't think I need to call the weather-forecast people. This is not a forecasting problem. Their forecast for Fukushima is most probably correct. Fukushima is not a big place. Is, say, the weather report for Ventura California  consistent with the weather in Tijuana Mexico? Probably not. They might be if it were all flat lands, but, alas, for you and your weak argument, there are a bunch of huge rocks called, "mountains" in the way.

The nuclear power plants in Fukushima are on the ocean side, opposite of Tokyo, of those high mountain ranges. Winds often blow onshore from the ocean. This is a geography question and how geography influences weather. 

Some people need to open up a relief map of Japan and see the terrain and just how far away Tokyo is from Fukushima is... And, no, it's not the 1/2 inch you see on that map in front of your face. I guess some people's reading and comprehension abilities are lacking as I simply pointed out in my post, about the geographical considerations when dealing with weather patterns here (or anywhere else in the world for that matter - but especially in a mountainous country).

As a professional in the mass media, I do know how to check and cross reference information. I guess I shouldn't hold others up to the same standard, but it is disgraceful when people aren't intelligent enough to do the very basic level of fact checking - or they cherry picks facts. How embarrassing. I wrote about that here: Critical and Analytical Thinking are Lost Arts Amongst Many of Today's Adult Population

Now, let me blow this stupid argument out of the water. Here is the claim of this reader that, "I just took a quick look at the forecast for Fukushima, here: It shows today's wind blowing SSW all day --i.e., straight towards Tokyo."

My God! He's right! If we are to extrapolate, that wind is also blowing straight for Manila, Brunei, and Adelaide Australia! We're doomed! Head for the life rafts! Every man for himself! 
As you can see, "S" is referring to the wind direction in Fukushima, indeed blowing south, all the while being ignorant of Japan's geography and distance between Fukushima and Tokyo.

Now, let's show his how he doesn't have the faintest idea as to what he is talking about. From the very same weather service. Refer to this map:


Well, look at that! The winds are blowing from the south to the north in Tokyo! How could this be? How could the wind be blowing south in Fukushima but blowing north in Tokyo!? 

Well, like I said, this is a mountainous country and geography plays a big part. This reader  cherry picked his data so that it shows winds blowing south IN FUKUSHIMA today, Saturday June 11, 2011 - (while conveniently forgetting to check Tokyo). Fukushima is on the other side of a huge mountain range and 230 + kilometers from Tokyo... Yet, in the bottom chart, from his very own sources, it shows the wind blowing from the south towards the north away from Tokyo.

Just how do we justify this discrepancy? Could it be geography as I showed in my previous post? Seems like the only plausible explanation. Either that or weather gremlins!

"There's no place like home. There's no place like home! 
Oh Auntie Em!"

Also, let's examine further... What about the area just north of Tokyo, Chiba Japan? Well,  sorry about that one too: Refer to this:


Wow! Astounding. The winds are blowing north or, later, from the west (as they always do) away from Tokyo! Who'd a thunk it?

Do I need to alert the weather service? Or does dear reader and Arnie Gundersen need to get an education on Japan's geography and weather

As I have said numerous times, Japan's prevailing winds blow from the south or the east. For a few months in winter, they blow from the north east. There might be times when, due to terrain, in small areas, winds blow different directions (a walk in a windy hallway in any city in the world can demonstrate that), but these winds are caused and controlled by geography.

Winds do not blow from Fukushima to Tokyo over the biggest and widest and highest mountain range in Japan.

May I now start enjoying my weekend? 

I already started laughing at least five minutes ago.  


Anonymous said...

This blog sure seems to attract a lot of foreigners who don't know jack shit about Japan. Give 'em hell!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I needed this. You'd be shocked at the dumb things I hear... But then again, on second thought, from reading your comments... I guess you wouldn't. Keep up the great work. I really did need this one!
- T.R.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Too much debate club and the 'you learn the rules and you win' mentality.
People are so intent on winning that objectivity is thrown out the window and it's more important to win the argument than to find out what really happened or is happening. To win, you have to cherry pick information that helps you win, etc.
Some people are doing this consciously and are just trying to further their cause or lobby, butsome people have this scary and amazing ability to rewrite their memory and really believe the BS they are saying.

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