Tainan – Typhoon Matmo

Team Tainan has been focused this week on completing our recommendations presentation and written report, but the last 24 hours have had an unanticipated twist. We had a “typhoon break” today, in local language, due to Typhoon Matmo passing through Taiwan.

A typhoon is the same weather phenomena as a hurricane or a cyclone, just called a typhoon in the western Pacific Ocean. This particular storm is a category 2, with sustained winds of 100 km/h and above.

The island of Taiwan has high mountains towards its eastern side, so the winds ahead of the eye were rather light. At several points yesterday, it was hard to believe we were in the typhoon’s “red zone.” During the night, though, the wind picked up and throughout the day today, successive bands of high wind, horizontal cloud and rain, and heavy showers passed through. From our workroom on the 22nd floor of the hotel, we watched relatively quiet streets and each wave of the storm.

Life went on somewhat as normal in Tainan, with many retail stores open and cars and some motorbikes on the streets. By late afternoon, the rain had stopped, just as was true almost every other wet day of the last week. The wind is still noisy up here, but at street level we walked back from dinner as we have many nights.

Being confined to the hotel today gave us a lot of extra time to work on our report and presentation. We are feeling pretty good about our work heading into a readout tomorrow and our final meeting with Mayor Lai on Friday morning.

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