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New Records Set by Typhoon Maemi

Posted September. 13, 2003 23:03,   


Typhoon Maemi broke existing records in the highest speed of wind and its destructive power.

Record-breaking Wind Speed and Its Power

The speed of the high winds recorded 60 m per second at Suweol bong mountain, Jeju island at around 4 p.m., Friday, the highest speed recorded since meteorological conditions started to be recorded in 1904. The highest wind speed recorded until now was 58.3m recorded at Heuksan Island in 2000 when typhoon Prapiroon hit the nation.

Wind speed over 50m per second has a huge destructive power that can make a tree fall down from its roots and a steel electricity transmission tower bend.

The central pressure of a typhoon is the most important indicator for the typhoon’s power. Typhoon Maemi recorded lowest in terms of central pressure. The lower the central pressure of a typhoon is, the stronger the typhoon’s wind is. Typhoon Maemi recorded 950 hPa in its central pressure at Sacheon City in South Gyeonsang Province Friday night, lower than 951.5hPa of typhoon Sara that hit the nation in 1959.

Typhoon Maemi`s Strong Power in Lands

Typhoons usually weaken when they approach Okinawa area in Japan. But typhoon Maemi maintained its strong power till it approaches the Korean peninsula and it even gained more power and became destructive after arriving in the land. This is a very unusual phenomenon in the history of meteorological observation. Experts cite as a reason for this one or two degree higher water temperatures at the Southern sea compared with past years. An official at the Korea Meteorological Administration explained that higher temperature at seas provided vapor to Maemi, which strengthened the typhoon’s strength.

Moreover, typhoon Maemi’s strong power in the land was largely influenced by cold high atmospheric pressure from continent, which is responsible for frequent rains in the nation this summer. Wind blows due to the difference in atmospheric pressures. When the typhoon, low atmospheric pressure from tropical areas, met high atmospheric pressure on the Korean peninsula, the difference between atmospheric pressures has widened, which resulted in Maemi`s strong winds of over 40m per second even after it arrived in the land.

The Power of a Typhoon that Comes at Early Autumn

The power of typhoon Maemi once again demonstrated the fact that a typhoon in early fall is much stronger than the one in the middle of summer or late summer. Typhoon Sara hit Korea for four days from Sep. 15th leaving 849 people dead and missing. Typhoon Rusa arrived on August 31th, leaving 246 people and missing and bringing property losses of more than five trillion won. Lasting from the end of September to the early October in 1998, typhoon Yeni poured massive heavy rains of 516.4mm a day in Pohang.

The Korea Meteorological Administration said about 30 typhoons hit the world annually. 304 typhoons hit the Korean peninsula from 1904 to 2002, which can be calculated into 3.1 typhoons a year. 14 typhoons hit the world this year, of which three including Maemi affected the Korean peninsula. Thus, based on the calculation, Korea has experienced its annual share of typhoon. But an official at the KMA said that the number of typhoons this year is half the annual average number of typhoons in the world, which still leaves a possibility of another typhoon that might hit the Korean peninsula.