Living in southern China sure does bring some exciting weather. Spring is the rainy season, but it’s not normal rain, it’s tropical rain storms which come out of nowhere, throws down fire and brimstone for 20 minutes and then blows away. It’s so quick and sporadic my friends and I all checked to see if others had the storm too. We chat with each other like wannabe meteorologists.
“Lightning here, anyone else?”
“Nope, blue skies still here!”
“Oh, I see some clouds coming!”
“Must be a northern moving storm.”
Now rainy season is over, but typhoon season has begun! This week alone we had three typhoons come in off the ocean. And by “we” I mean everyone except Xiamen. Seriously, every city on the easy coast from Shenzhen in the south to Beijing way up north. Every city was pummeled with rain and high winds. In Xiamen? We had a slight breeze one day, but no rain, not even a shower.
Why? Well, two of the storms changed trajectory. One of them kinda petered out and the other decided to head north. But the first one was headed directly towards us. Thousands of fishing boats were forced to shore, ocean farmers evacuated, trains and flights were suspended and ferries stopped running. Xiamen was ready! And yet nothing happened. Why? Because big brother Taiwan saved us.
I guess Taiwan is perfectly situated (in this case) to shield us. They got hit, and cities on mainland China south got pummeled too. I saw a video of a guy riding a moped in Shantou, a city only 150 miles south of us. The wind was so strong, it actually pushed him back despite him accelerating. While I watched that video the sky in Xiamen was blue, with white fluffy clouds.
And it was a little disappointing! I mean, I don’t want terrible flooding or people dying, but Xiamen is used to typhoons, we have several every year, so things, and people, are used to them. Nothing too bad would have happened. And it would have cooled the temperature down, which as we all know I would love. So we all got worked up, warned and excited for the storm, and then cock blocked by Taiwan.
Oh well, next time. (Hopefully when it is especially hot!)
Editor’s note: Typhoon and hurricanes are the exact same thing meteorologically speaking. They’re just called Typhoons in the east based on a Chinese word, and hurricane in the west, based on English.