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Yellow sand

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
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14 Mar 2002
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Yesterday, it wasn't just spring in the air: the blue skies turned into a yellowish haze within just a few minutes (see the pic below taken in eastern Tokyo, original colours).

yellow_sand.jpg

"Kosa" (黄砂 Yellow Sand) a phenomenon that's been striking Japan for a couple of years it seems, I have never experienced it first-hand in the Kanto region.

=> Asian Dust - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

=> BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | China dust storm hits East Asia

The skies are back to blue, nothing but a thin layer of dust remains. Seems we have to get used to it.
 
Oh, so is that what this was all about? I didn't watch it immediately because I figured the title had something to do with music or something. :p
 
i never thought that sand storm could reach Japan !
As i see in the picture and the video it's not as bad as Sand storm in Arabia..Look what we get XD
sandstormepic10-1.jpg


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the tower in the last picture is 302 metre high...
 
I think its been going on longer than that.

Yes, that's correct. "Kosa (yellow sand or loess)" has been an annual event since god-knows-when. I studied about it in elementary school, and that's in the 1960s. It is only in recent years that it is regarded a problem first because the sand particles stuck with pollen to aggravate pollen allergy, which is growing among the Japanese, and lately because pollutants in the air in China are carried together with it.

Loess Plateau - China - YouTube
 
I think it's funny that it was yesterday when it hit Tokyo that suddenly millions of photos popped up everywhere, but the day before when it hit the Kansai region, I so almost no photos at all! *g*
It was pretty bad here on Saturday (one day before it hit Tokyo). I spent the day in hospital because my hay fever became REALLY bad - and I was not the only one. There were a lot of people in the hospital.
 
I think it's funny that it was yesterday when it hit Tokyo that suddenly millions of photos popped up everywhere, but the day before when it hit the Kansai region, I so almost no photos at all! *g*
It was pretty bad here on Saturday (one day before it hit Tokyo). I spent the day in hospital because my hay fever became REALLY bad - and I was not the only one. There were a lot of people in the hospital.

"Kosa" level declines over distance, so the concentration is higher in Kyushu and more or less high in other parts of western Japan. It has never been thick in Tokyo, causing only a very thin layer of sand settling on cars parked for hours. It has never been thick as it was in Tokyo yesterday.

The sandy mist that covered Tokyo actually was not "kosa" but sand flushed by strong winds from the mountains north of Tokyo. It was a totally different and very rare phenomenon. I don't remember it happening as far as I can recall. (But then, my confidence in my memory is waning... :p)
 
It looked pretty bad here as well, but as I rushed from the hospital to work, I didn't have time to take a photo of it.
I admit that it didn't look as bad as the photos I've seen of Tokyo thus far, though! ;)
 
Was plenty of it on Sunday in Saitama. Couldn't see past 150 metres I guess, I got more than enough sand in my eyes too.
 
The sandy mist that covered Tokyo actually was not "kosa" but sand flushed by strong winds from the mountains north of Tokyo.

Where did you get that information? What mountains?

I am in chubu and we got some sand as well, though not that bad. That would suggest that either the sand came from north of Chubu (which does not make much sense as there was not as much) or the sand came from south of here (which means the wind blew both north and south at nearly the same time).

Now, I may have missed something, but it seems strange. I guess its also possible that both mountains north and south of my position were being eroded. Its also possible the wind changed directions mid day. Or that the sources were different between here and Tokyo.
 
Where did you get that information? What mountains?

It was reported so in the weather news here in Tokyo. I wasn't listening to everything they said, but it reportedly was caused by the winds coming from the mountains in Gunma and nearby. It was a local phenomenon, I guess.
So, it must have been dreadfully thick in Saitama (with Gunma being north of Saitama).
I live in western Tokyo and saw some haze out my window but nothing like what I saw on TV. (Was home all day.)

Edit: I was just checking the new reported in English, and all of them claim the sandstorm to come from China. It was pretty local for having crossed all this way to hit Japan, especially only the Pacific side and not the other side of Japan. lol
While the Japanese meterologists say it is a sandstorm raised by northerly winds picking up dust and raising them up into the sky due to rapid change in air temperature, a lot of people on the Web are fanning fear that it is pollution from China. If it is, this should have happened more frequently from years ago.
 
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