A team of Japanese meteorological researchers has succeeded in testing a method of producing artificial rain, and it has worked for two consecutive years now. The method consists mainly of spraying liquid carbonic acid at extremely low temperatures to induce more precipitation from rain clouds.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has reported that a low pressure system storm caused by typhoon-like winds worked its way across the country over the weekend and into Monday, leaving extensive damage and affecting public train routes, along with injuring a number of people. Both the western and eastern parts of the country experienced heavy rainfall by Saturday evening, with the JMA issuing warnings for wind speeds as high as 126 kilometers per hour (78 mph) and waves as large as 6 to 8 meters in coastal areas.
A storm originating from eastern China is expected to bring heavy rain across Japan over the weekend, and with the possibility of flooding. Having moved from between the cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong over to South Korea throughout Friday, the storm will move into southern Japan by that night, where the most rainfall is expected to be experienced.
While the whole world is watching Hurricane Sandy and the havoc it wreaks on New York, CNN takes a look at a huge feat of engineering that serves to protect the Japanese capital of Tokyo from similar risks of flooding. Called a "Water Discharge Tunnel," the huge underground structures measure taller than a five-story building and serves to protect Tokyo's 13 million residents, already threatened by earthquakes, from heavy rainfall and tropical storms that could cause floods.
Japan's southern most islands, including Okinwawa, were battered once again by a typhoon this week, the 21st of the season, going by the name of Prapiroon. The storm treated the residents of Okinawa to winds with speeds of 74 kilometers per hour (46 mph) on Wednesday, along with some unpleasant rainfall. Named after the Thai God of Rain, Prapiroon has moved towards the northeast, and is now causing blackouts in Kagoshima Prefecture.
Those in Tokyo on Sunday were greeted with Typhoon Jelawat after it reached mainland Japan earlier in the weekend and began its move towards the capital city. While the Japan Meteorological Agency originally predicted wind speeds would slow significantly before reaching the southwestern parts of the country, several dozens were injured and tens of thousands were left without power. Torrential rain and wind prompted warnings to stay inside and to avoid getting stuck in traffic.
Only a week after being hit by Typhoon Sanba, Okinawa is now laying in the path of its successor, a super typhoon by the name of Jelawat. Whereas Sanba moved on to South Korea, after Okinawa, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) predicts Jelawat will move directly towards the main islands of Japan. Officials say Jelawat is the equivalent of a category-4 hurricane, with sustained winds of roughly 150 miles per hour, however on Tuesday, winds reached a maximum of 160 mph, equal to a category-5 storm.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has issued an advisory to southwestern Japan and South Korea about the quickly approaching Typhoon Sanba. As of Thursday night, the JTWC says it has escalated in strength to a "super typhoon," or the equivalent of a class 5 hurricane. A super typhoon is classified as a storm having wind speeds of 150 miles per hour (241 km/h), whereas Sanba is already approaching speeds of 170 mph (273 km/h).
Japan's southern island of Okinawa was subject to the powerful, slow-moving Typhoon Bolaven over the weekend, causing widespread blackouts and keeping thousands indoors amid heavy rainfall and large waves striking the shores. Weather observers said Bolaven was believed to be the strongest storm to hit the area in at least 50 years. NHK news reported that roughly 57,000 were left without power, while four people have been treated so far with serious injuries.
Torrential rains and a violent storm knocked the wind out of the Obon festival for the Kinki region, where one person has died and two are feared missing due to the heavy floods. In Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, 69-year old Eizo Nishiyama and his wife were swept away along with their home when the swollen Shizugawa River burst its eastern banks. Landslides and tornado-force winds are further causing damage in the region.