weather

To hike or hibernate for the winter? The woes of a Hokkaido University student

Heavy winds, low visibility and snow drifts the size of houses. What do you do? Go to that lecture at 8:30 or grab as many blankets as you can and binge watch Dragon Ball? Although the answer might be pretty simple for some university students in Japan, the ones in Hokkaido know there is no such thing as a snow day. Freshman students at Hokkaido University are sometimes amazed to encounter the incredibly snowy weather conditions that face them on their way to class. There is not much else they can do but bundle up, snap a few pictures and share them with the Internet.

We’ve collected some of the best pics taken by Hokkaido’s students this winter. Would you go to class in this weather?

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A Christmas Miracle: Firebird graces the skies of Beijing

In ancient China, it was believed that whenever unusual climate or weather phenomena occurred, it foretold the future. If a dragon appeared in the sky, it meant that a new emperor would reign. Why would dragons appear in the sky, you ask? We don’t know, but on the 23rd of December, a fire phoenix flew across the Beijing sky, creating stunningly beautiful views in an otherwise heavily polluted sky.

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Taiwanese sky can’t decide, splits itself in half

What do you do when the sky itself seems to divide itself right before your eyes? It’s like yin meeting up with yang, or a horrible dark and gloomy day facing off against a beautiful sunny one.

But why let the weather confuse you when RocketNews24 will explain it for you? Sit back and relax as we tell you why the sky is fighting itself in Taiwan.

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This map shows the probability of a white Christmas for each of Japan’s prefectures

If the popularity of Bing Crosby’s famous holiday song is any indication, many people all over the world are dreaming of a white Christmas. But according to the past 30 years of snowfall data, several prefectures in Japan will almost surely be unable to hear sleigh bells in the snow.

Take a look at the following map created by Japanese weather site Tenki.jp to find out if the area of Japan you live in will have a white Christmas!

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Nagano Prefecture dodges yet another typhoon – Does it have some kind of magical force field?

This past week marked the 19th typhoon of the season. Hitting Japan very soon after typhoon No. 18, Vongfong–which translates as “wasp” in Cantonese–battered the islands of Japan with incredibly heavy rains and strong winds.

While much of Japan suffered under the powerful force of nature, one prefecture remained virtually untouched, even while all of its neighbors took a beating. Find out why after the jump.

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Stay right on top of Typhoon 19 with beautiful and highly useful online weather services

As of this writing Typhoon 19 is just about right on top of Okinawa. Classified as a “Super Typhoon” by NASA it is far greater in size and power than last week’s storm. The typhoon also goes by the name Vongfong, which we assume is Chinese for “killjoy” because of its incredibly bad timing.

If Typhoon 19 veers East and moves across most of Japan, it will do so right over the long weekend. With all the destruction and at very least wet nuisances brought by typhoons, the one sliver of light had always been that they often brought days off work and school with them too. Not this weekend, however, and many wait to see whether the weather will dash their holiday plans or not.

Luckily there is a plethora of online weather services for us to watch Typhoon 19 in near-real-time that are all both very informative and gorgeous enough to make you want to refer to them even after the storm has passed.

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Genius Chinese college students use indoor inflatable pools to beat summer heat

I thought summers in America were hot, until I moved to Asia and learned firsthand what a hot summer is really like. In Japan, China and other parts of East Asia, the summer can be brutal to the point that people flock to public pools by the thousands, risking other people’s disgusting mud butt and possible drowning by crowd crush just to enjoy a few moments in the tepid water.

But a number of enterprising Chinese college students have apparently figured out a genius workaround: Just put a pool in your own dorm room.

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Perfect rainbow appears over Tokyo like an interdimensional portal, no spirits spotted (yet)

While we rarely think about it, the way our atmosphere works is pretty amazing–filtering out all that cosmic radiation and keeping us alive. It also has tons of moisture in it, which, in addition to giving some nifty lightning shows, is also what gives us really cool stuff like sun dogs and rainbows. While it’s nothing special to see a piece of a rainbow or even half of one in the sky after a rainshower, it’s quite another thing to see a full rainbow shimmering in the sky.

But that’s exactly what appeared over Tokyo on Friday, setting Twitter ablaze with photos of the beautiful phenomenon. And because we’re ready for some uplifting fun this weekend, here’s all the photos we could find! Guaranteed to make your day 200% more magical or your leprechaun back.

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“Once in decades” typhoon hits Okinawa, expected to sweep across mainland Japan later this week

You know a storm’s not messing around when meteorologists start tacking “super” onto its name and astronauts send snaps of it back from the International Space Station.

Super typhoon Neoguri struck the island of Okinawa earlier today, leaving more than 22,000 homes without power. The storm, which has been described as a “once in decades” meteorological event due to its gargantuan size, is expected to move northeast, hitting mainland Japan in the coming days.

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Freak hailstorms hit Tokyo in June as winter rises from its icy grave

The weather in Tokyo can be a little unpredictable in June. Spring still wasn’t that long ago, and sometimes we’ll get a day with a cool breeze or nighttime temperatures low enough that you’ll want a windbreaker, or at least a long-sleeved shirt.

On the other hand, midsummer is just around the corner, and steamy, sweltering days with high humidity and temperatures aren’t at all unusual. On just about any day the cloud layer has the potential to turn into a squall, too.

One thing Tokyo usually doesn’t see at this time of the year, though, is hailstorms.

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Double upside-down rainbow appears in Ishikawa Prefecture, makes everyone’s day fabulous

Some Japanese Twitter users posted photos of a spherical double rainbow spotted in Ishikawa Prefecture a few days ago, and thank God they weren’t high, because if outdated Internet meme “Double Rainbow Guy” is any indication, it would have literally destroyed their minds with its brilliance.

While Double Rainbow Guy seemed to think his double rainbow sighting was a sign that we aren’t alone in the universe or something, most Japanese Netizens who posted photos seemed to just take it as a sign of good luck, even though this double rainbow is way more awesome because it forms a circle around the sun as though Helios himself were gifting humanity with two giant cosmic frisbees.

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NHK has been reporting the wrong weather in Kōchi Prefecture for… four years?!

It was announced on April 13 that the Kōchi NHK station’s weekday evening news has been showing the wrong icons for weather conditions in the corner of the screen for four years. Where the following day’s weather forecast for the eastern region of the prefecture should have appeared, the broadcaster had consistently been displaying the forecast for the western region.

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Pearl River Delta confirms recent risk ranking with severe hail storm

No sooner was it announced the third most at-risk area for natural disasters in the world than the Pearl River Delta in China was hit by extremely severe rain storms with giant hail and damaging winds. The region, which is composed of several major urban centers has experienced flooded subways stations, canceled flights, and destroyed shopping centers due to heavy downpours.

Some of these scenes have been recorded and shared online in video form.

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How to beat the cold using nothing but a single sweater: A winter guide

In many parts of the world, the winter of 2013/2014 has been an especially brutal one. Record low temperatures and snowfalls have left millions searching for relief. Luckily, the guys at Japanese humour site Omocoro have been hard at work finding new ways to ride out the rest of this freezing season.

In fact, their writer Sebuyama feels that he may have found the ultimate self-warming method using only a single sweater and absolutely nothing else. The following is what he found, but beware: this winter guide is not safe for work… unless your work involves looking at large amounts of man-flesh.

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Snowed-in citizens get creative shoveling snow with unlikely objects

As you may already have noticed, extreme snow has been causing havoc around the Kanto and Chūbu regions of Japan for the past two weeks now. It’s just been one thing after another, and today news has hit of the latest shock – they’re out of snow shovels! But when the snow’s piling up at your door, there’s nothing for it but to get creative.

See the solutions people came up with below, and find out how it’s related to the hulking Godzilla-like form looming above.

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There’s snow in my kitchen! Heaviest snowfall on record brings Yamanashi Prefecture to its knees

We’ve already seen Hokkaido residents putting a damper on the fuss Tokyo-ites are making over a bit of snow, but Yamanashi Prefecture genuinely might be able to give them a run for their money. Huge amounts of the white stuff has been causing problems across the prefecture, but has been comparatively underreported compared to events around the capital.

Residents have been taking to Twitter to share these shocking images that aren’t making it onto the news. Check out these rather epic photos.

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Kanto region beaten down by the weather like they owe it money

About a week ago the Kanto region underwent and unusually large snowfall. Although it wreaked havoc on trains and planes, residents largely made out okay by panic shopping and building snow sculptures of cat-men and mega-pikachus.

It was enough to make people in snow burdened regions like Hokkaido send everyone a reminder of their winter woes. Then, it was as if a mad scientist in Kanto picked up that challenge and cranked their weather machine to 11 as the area was hit by another dose of disastrous weather. Here’s just some of the damage tallied.

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Heroic Chinese exchange student rescues nine-year-old boy from fast-moving river

The powerful Typhoon Man-yi having swept through the region and dumped enough rain to completely submerge parts of Kyoto, the majority of rivers in Kansai were either worryingly high or had completely burst their banks by Monday afternoon this week. Shortly after the storm had passed, however, a group of schoolboys ventured out to take some snaps of trains passing over a nearby bridge when the youngest, a nine-year-old elementary school student, lost his footing and fell into Osaka’s Yodo River, which was flowing dangerously fast as a result of the heavy rain.

The boy was unable to reach the riverbank and was quickly dragged downstream, his young friends powerless to help. Thankfully, an extremely brave Chinese exchange student was passing by at that exact moment…

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Blood money: Yesterday’s typhoon leaves one man in an awkward predicament

Tokyo may have escaped with only minor damage compared to poor old Kyoto during yesterday’s powerful typhoon, but it would appear that there is at least one Twitter user who suffered losses of a truly horrific nature.

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Typhoon Man-yi leaves much of Kyoto below water

Typhoon Man-yi has been causing havoc across mainland Japan today, sweeping the length of the country and dumping torrential rains the like of which few have ever seen. Thousands of people in Western Japan have been forced to evacuate their homes, and as we can see in the following photographs, whole areas of Japan’s ancient capital city, Kyoto, have been left submerged after rivers burst their banks.

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