A Japanese Word for September: Typhoon

With September coming around, you were relieved to feel the weather cooling down. Or so you believed. As the typhoon season reaches its peak, your perfect kit to go out is an umbrella, a raincoat, and some good rain boots.


A typhoon (台風たいふう) is a tropical cyclone with strong winds occurring in the west Pacific while in the Atlantic, they are called hurricanes. They are accompanied by heavy winds, floods, storm surge, and torrential rainfalls. Officially, the season starts in May and ends in October. However, Japan particularly suffers from tropical cyclones passing over the islands from July until late September.

The Japanese meteorological agency can predict quite accurately the probable course of a typhoon, days in advance. They are given numbers rather than a name. You can refer to the English version of their website for more information and real-time weather updates.

  • 台風第たいふうだい17ごう: 17th typhoon (in 2016)
  • 台風情報たいふうじょうほう : Typhoon information
  • 台風たいふう72時間進路予報じかんしんろよほう: Typhoon’s course forecast in the next 72 hours

If you are living in Japan, you will need to take some necessary precautions. First, you should keep yourself informed on the progress and severity of the storm. Also, a basic understanding of weather warnings in Japanese is quite useful. Indeed, the meteorological agency calls for caution when damage may occur as a result of the strong winds and heavy rain. However, if forecasters predict heavy damages, they will release warnings.

  • 大雨おおあめたいふうじょうほうする情報じょうほう: heavy rain information
  • 大雨洪水警報おおあめこうずいけいほう: heavy rain and flooding warnings

In 2016, the Narita airport got temporary closed due to strong winds. Therefore, travelling in Japan during a typhoon can be difficult  due to cancellation and delays. Trains are often stopped and expressways closed.

  • 洪水こうずい: flood
  • 地滑こうずいり: landslide
  • 大雨おおあめ: heavy rain
  • 暴風ぼうふう: rainstorm
  • かみなり: thunder
  • 雷雨らいう: thunderstorm
  • 強風きょうふう: strong wind
  • 暴風ぼうふう: windstorm

What to do in case of typhoon-related warnings? Common-sense dictates avoiding to get out. Most Japanese companies will probably consider closing for the day or encourage employees to get back home early. At home, you should secure your balcony and / or garden and avoid exposing yourself to your windows. Finally, you should draw your curtains and wait for the weather to clear up!

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