Tuesday 28 August 2012

Science & Environment: The Fujiwhara Effect VS Li's Force Field

Typhoon Bolaven near Seoul and Typhoon Tembin near Taiwan
Image from HKO
I've always been fascinated by typhoons (tropical cyclones / hurricanes) and tornadoes -- mother nature's wind tricks, but it was just recently that I learnt about The Fujiwhara Effect, thanks to Typhoon Tembin and Bolaven.

My first picture in my head when I heard this term, and I believe that many of you would agree, is this...

Everyone around my age knows the famous characters of the Initial D, talented son Takumi Fujiwara and legendary racer dad Bunta Fujiwara. The manga and anime swept from Japan all cross Asia, Europe (Italy and Spain in particular) and America. Here are some YouTube videos of the anime in English, Spanish and Italian

But of course, it has nothing to do with Initial D. It was named after Japanese meteorologist who described the motion of vortices (whirling or spinning) in water. 
Typhoon Tembin made a Boomerang Turn due to the interaction with Typhoon Bolaven
Image from HKO
In simple words, Fujiwhara Effect is the interaction between two typhoon systems, when the larger one will control the movement the smaller one by changing its course or in rare cases, merge together with the larger one. 

Image from HKO
In some cases, there could be 3 typhoons in the interactions! Interesting!

Typhoons of 2010
Image from Wikipedia
What could be even more interesting is if we all get typhoolidays in the weekdays, which hasn't been the case  for at least two years, which is the reason why the term Li's Force Field has made its way to Wikipedia, describing the phenomenon that Hong Kong seem to be protected by an invisible force field created by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-Shing such that no typhoon can enter, thus preventing possible typhoolidays on weekdays and financial losses.

Image from Wikipedia

If you are interested in learning more, you can read the references below, or visit Educational Material on Tropical Cyclone from Hong Kong Observatory.

vortex -- (n)[C]  (plural vortices) a mass of air or water that spins around very fast and pulls objects into its empty center
typhooliday -- (n)[C] (n)[C] A word created by Locky, meaning a holiday brought about by the hoisting of high intensity Typhoon signals
Li's Force Field -- (n)[U] Li C Lik-cheung (Chinese: 李氏力場, LCL, Li's Force Field, Lee's Force Field) is a kuso that is very popular among the Hong Kong society, which states that Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠) invented a machine that could create an invisible force field over Hong Kong and prevent any Typhoon from entering Hong Kong territories. As a result, the Hong Kong Observatory would only issue a Strong Wind Signal No.3 or lower.
phenomenon -- (n)[C] (plural phenomenasomething that exists and can be seen, felt, tasted, etc., especially something which is unusual or interesting


Fujiwhara Effect @ Wikipedia

Initial D (3rd challenge)- AE86 vs EG-6 Civic (English) Part 1  @ YouTube

Initial d (Takumi Vs Bunta) @ YouTube

Initial D il Film in Italiano Parte 1 @ YouTube

Li C Lik-cheung @ Wikipedia

Educational Material on Tropical Cyclone


Culture: "Typhoo-lidays", Britons and Weather @ Locky's English Playground

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