Typhoon Roke

  • Infrared Image of Tropical Storm Roke on September 14th. The purple area shows the coldest, highest cloud heights where the heaviest rain was occurring. Source: NASA/JPL, Ed Olsen.

    A Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from NASA's Aqua satellite showing Typhoon Roke approaching Japan on the 21st of September.

  • Typhoon Roke
    22.09.2011 16:12


    On Wednesday 21st September at 1400 local time, Typhoon Roke made landfall to the south-west of Tokyo at Honshu, near Hamamatsu.  Winds of 100mph were recorded shortly before Roke hit the coast.

    Roke formed in the Pacific Ocean to the south of Japan a week ago but remained fairly stationary just east of the Ryukyu Islands for some time due to a lack of steering winds. It was Monday the 19th September before Typhoon Roke finally started to move north and approach mainland Japan, strengthening for a time as it did so.

    Around the same time, Tropical Storm Sonca formed to the east of Roke. Sonca however made speedy progress on a north-easterly track which saw it miss Japan by a healthy margin and clear north-east on Tuesday the 20th September. As Sonca cleared, Roke moved ever close to sit off south-west Japan by midday Tuesday. Roke continued north overnight and into Wednesday, making landfall around midday.

    As Roke made landfall, the storm weakened and had been downgraded to Tropical Storm status by the time it reached the east coast. However, the storm still brought strong winds and heavy rain to the region, with landslides causing two dams to burst with a third at risk. Eleven people are now reported to have died.

    The centre of the storm passed to the north-west of Tokyo, but its radius encompassed Tokyo where wind gusts reached 83mph. The strong winds brought down power lines and caused about 20,000 residents to lose power. Transportation networks across Tokyo were also disrupted.

    The storm did not pass directly over Fukushima but the area did receive almost 200mm of rainfall. Indeed heavy rains afflicted much of the country with 100-200mm recorded in many areas and up to 400mm locally.

    Roke continued its north-easterly trajectory and moved offshore on a path that will see it skimming the Kuril Islands.

    By: Victoria Kettley