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Typhoon Sanba (17W) Strongest Tropical Cyclone So Far in 2012 – September 18th, 2012

39.5N 129.6E

September 18th, 2012 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Typhoon Sanba (17W) – September 17th, 2012

Enhanced image

Track of Typhoon Sanba (17W) - September 17th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TS 17W

Typhoon Sanba (international designation: 1216, JTWC designation: 17W, PAGASA name: Karen) is currently a tropical cyclone in the Sea of Japan. Being the sixteenth named storm and tenth typhoon of the 2012 Pacific typhoon season, Sanba has been the strongest tropical cyclone worldwide in 2012. The name Sanba, which refers to the Ruins of St. Paul’s in Macau, is a transcription of São Paulo.

Tropical Storm Sanba (17W), located approximately 10 nm northwest of Taegu, South Korea, has made landfall and accelerated north-northeastward at 20 knots over the past six hours. The initial position and intensity were based on animated radar imagery from the Korean meteorological agency and from surface observations from Taegu
that reported maximum winds of 24 gusting to 40 knots.

Sanba is currently at the base of the Taebaek Mountain Range and poised to ramp up the high and very rugged terrain. Upper level analysis indicates the system is now embedded in the baroclinic zone and undergoing extratropical transition. It is expected to become a cold core low after its remnants emerge back in the Sea of Japan by TAU 12. The alternate scenario is that the system will dissipate over land.

Smoke from Wildfires Over China, Russia and Japan – October 14th, 2011

44.2N 133.1E

October 14th, 2011 Category: Fires

China, Russia, Japan - October 8th, 2011

Smoke from wildfires hangs over the China-Russia border and extends out over the Sea of Japan. Air currents cause the smoke to take on a spiral shape west of the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Although the smoke reaches Japan, it does not appear to reach the Russian island of Sakhalin (above). The smoke is densest over Russia in the upper left corner of the image.

Snowfall Over the Korean Peninsula – January 30th, 2011

37.8N 127.5E

January 30th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Sediments

Korean Peninsula - January 17th, 2011

The Korean Peninsula is dusted with snow in this winter image. The snowfall appears heaviest on the western coast of North Korea. South Korea is less affected by snowfall.

While the eastern coastline of the peninsula along the Sea of Japan is mostly clear, the western coastline, bordering the Yellow Sea, is flanked by tan sediments.

Sado Island Off the West Coast of Honshu, Japan

38.0N 138.3E

March 13th, 2010 Category: Mountains

Japan - February 24th, 2010

Japan - February 24th, 2010

Sado Island is visible in the Sea of Japan off the coast of Honshu, the main island of Japan, northeast of the Noto Peninsula. The peninsula is part of Ishikawa Prefecture, while Sado Island is part of the Niigata Prefecture.

Since 2004 the city of Sado has comprised the entire island of Sado, although not all of its total area of 855.26 km2 is urbanized. Sado is the sixth largest island of Japan in area following Okinawa Island and excluding the Northern territories.

The island consists of two parallel mountain ranges running roughly southwest-northeast, enclosing a central plain. The Ōsado Range, in the North, is slightly higher, with peaks including Mount Kinpoku, the highest point of the island at 1,172 m, Mount Myōken, and Mount Donden. The Kosado Range in the South faces the Honshū coast. The highest point in Kosado is Ōjiyama at 645 m.

The plain in between those ranges is called Kuninaka and is the most populated area. The Kuninaka plain opens on its eastern side onto Ryōtsu Bay, and on its western side onto Mano Bay, where the island’s longest river, Kokufugawa (or Konogawa) reaches the sea.

Rural and Urban Areas in Japan’s Gunma and Niigata Prefectures – October 14th, 2009

36.3N 139.0E

October 14th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Japan - September 24th, 2009

Japan - September 24th, 2009

This image stretches across Japan’s Honshu Island, from Gunma Prefecture (below) to Niigata Prefecture (above). Gunma is located in the northwest corner of the Kantō region on Honshū island.

One of only eight landlocked prefectures in Japan, Gunma is the northwestern-most prefecture of the Kantō plain. Except for the central and southeast areas, where most of the population is concentrated, it is mostly mountainous.

The prefecture’s capital, Maebashi, is situated in the sprawling grey area at the center bottom. Maebashi is located at the foot of Mt. Akagi in the northeast corner of the Kantō Plain. The Tone River, Japan’s second-longest, runs through the western part of the city. Also, Maebashi is farthest from the sea (about 120km) among all Japanese prefectural capitals.

To the north, on the coast of the Sea of Japan, is Niigata Prefecture. Niigata prefecture stretches about 240 km along the Sea of Japan from southwest to north east, with a coastal plain between the mountains and the sea.

The prefecture is generally divided into four geographical areas: Jōetsu in the south, Chūetsu at the center, Kaetsu in the north, and Sado Island. Much of the prefecture’s area visible here appears yellow, with grey patches made by large cities.

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