In recent years, Taiwan’s normal August to November typhoon season has been anything but. Some years, the typhoons were minor to non-existent (and causing droughts), other years typhoons occurred throughout the year, even in January to March. For the first time since Taiwan’s centennial (2011), we’re facing a predictable typhoon season. It’s bad for mosquitos (and spreading Dengue fever) but good for farming and water collection.
After typhoon Mangkhut of last week, we’re already facing another, typhoon Trami which will make landfall by Thursday. Mangkhut was powerful, but it was fast moving, and crossed Manila’s island of Luzon in about twelve hours; a slower typhoon might have caused a lot more death and devastation. Trami is a different story, slow moving and heading directly for Taiwan. At it’s current trajectory, it will take 24-36 hours to fully cross the middle of the island. As if Hualien needs another landslide and building collapse. Fortunately, building construction here is a lot more hardy.
It’s likely not a coincidence that 2018 also marks the first summer in a decade where Taiwan’s average summer temperatures have declined. Not that you’d notice, it was still unbearably humid. There’s talk about shutting down one of the nuclear reactors producing electricity, and yet no one wants to give up airconditioning and the business dress code, wearing lighter clothing or shorts in the workplace. Nope, it’s gotta be suits and slacks, every day.