Back in 2006, Japanese mass media began using the term “guerrilla rainstorm” to describe short localized downpours of over 100 mm of rain per hour that appeared suddenly and unexpectedly.
The phenomenon is thought to be a result of rapid development of cumulonimbus clouds near urban areas caused by a combination of heat islands and local winds. The rainstorms have proven incredibly difficult to predict (hence the name “guerilla”) and are known for causing flash floods in urban areas.
The photo you see above is of one such guerrilla rainstorm, taken from Tokyo Skytree on September 1.
The photo was posted to Twitter and can best be described as Mother Nature getting food poisoning and letting it all out of downtown Tokyo.
Several other guerrilla rainstorms were reported around the country on the same day, but it seems this was the only one that was photographed.
To see a guerrilla rainstorm in action, check out this amazing footage of one that occurred in Hirakata city, Osaka prefecture on October 2, 2010.
And from the same location, this time with the storm directly overhead, on May 3, 2012.
The term “guerrilla rainstorm” has actually been around since the 1970s, but came into prominence in the late 2000s, eventually becoming a Japanese “word of the year” in 2008 after a series of unusually large downpours occurred across Japan from July to late August of the same year.
Have you ever been ambushed by a guerrilla rainstorm? Do you have anything similar in your country? Let us know in the comment below!