Faithful readers of this blog will recall that not only am I related to my father, I am turning into him. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to you (or at least to those of you who know my father) to learn that I am slightly addicted to checking the weather. I used to live in Halifax, where it was liable to change every five minutes. Don't like the weather? Just wait. ...Like it now? :)
Anyway, my new favourite website is that of the Japan Meteorological Agency. Not only can you look up daily and weekly forecasts for all of Japan*, but you can look up weather warnings and advisories, marine warnings**, tropical cyclone information, and information on earthquakes and volcanic activity*** (yup, Japan has it all).
Living in the centre of Japan in Gifu has thus far translated to us missing most of the nasty weather systems - typhoons generally tend to lose most of their oomph whilst roaring across the Kansai plain or whilst swooshing down through the Japan Alps.
However, I have noticed recently an increase in the number of weather warnings which include Gifu. What are they warning about? Dry air. I don't even know what that means! Is that some strange Engrish way of saying, "Not raining"??? I've had drier, more staticky hair in humid-air Canada than in allegedly-dry-air Gifu. I don't get it.
* Check out those balmy temperatures, snow-bound Ontario, and weep!
** Gifu is completely land-locked, so I must admit I have never checked that page, but I'm sure it has useful information for seaside types.
*** Gifu doesn't have any volcanoes, but I *do* check this one periodically, just in case. I guess I should be grateful that, in a country that usually has about one earthquake a day (though most are very small and barely perceptible), we have not had one yet. However, this just heightens the feeling that the earth is saving up its energy to someday be unleashed in the torrent that will be the big Tokai Earthquake. I originally thought Tokai was just Shizuoka prefecture (the area south of Mt Fuji, southwest of Tokyo) - turns out to be Shizuoka-and-area, which definitely includes the southern part of Gifu prefecture. (Footnote to the footnote: Only Japan would name its earthquake disaster before it happens, right?)