Hello, this is Simon.
The rainy season this year went on for longer than expected. It was also a lot more severe than in previous years, as far as I can remember.
I have always thought of rainy season as being just a constant drizzle, with the odd burst of heavy rain, punctuated with the occasional sunny day.
However, this year was different. There were long periods of torrential rain on a number of days. I got caught in it a few times walking to work. My raincoat and umbrella did almost nothing to protect me, with the rain pelting me at an angle. At one point was literally wading through puddles to get to my destination. It was pretty rough, but bad as it’s been, I still count myself lucky, because I live in an area where it rarely floods.
On the other hand, some parts of the country have been absolutely pummeled. Parts of of Kyushu, as well as a few other parts of Japan have been hit by some absolute deluges. There been some terrifying scenes of raging rivers, flash floods, slips, landslides, and large areas inundated with water. I’ve been through 20 rainy seasons now, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it cause so much devastation.
I worry that we will be seeing more and more of this as a result of global warming. At the moment the future looks very uncertain, with both the coronavirus and recent natural disasters. We’ll need to think about changes we should implement to help us face things like this in the future.
For now though, I just hope that the people most affected by the heavy rain this year are able to make a swift recovery.
I’ve been talking about the weather quite a bit recently, but it seems to be playing a bigger part nowadays. Below are some words that came up which you might find useful:
“a constant drizzle”
“Drizzle” can be both a verb and a noun, the verb meaning to rain in small light drops (e.g. It’s been drizzling all day.) and the noun meaning a slight rain (e.g. We’ve had drizzle all morning.)
When you see “punctuated”, you probably think of “punctuation”. And actually, one meaning is to add punctuation marks. Another meaning is to interrupt something repeatedly (e.g. When being interviewed for a job, it is good practice to punctuate your answers with the interviewer’s first name.) In the sentence I used, the sunny days interrupt the constant drizzle.
The adjective “torrential” is used specifically to describe very heavy rain. It is related to the noun “torrent”, which means a large stream of water that moves very fast (e.g. The heavy rain turned the river into a raging torrent.)
“pelting me at an angle”
To “pelt” something means to throw a number of things quickly at someone or something (e.g. Rioters started pelting police with bricks and bottles.) It is also often used to describe rain in the same way (e.g. The rain pelted down all day.)
To “wade” means to walk through water with some effort, because it is deep, coming quite high up your legs (e.g. We managed to wade across the river and get to the other side.)
“count myself lucky”
To “count yourself lucky” means to be in a situation that is better than it might have been (e.g. I count myself lucky to have a child who is healthy and happy.)
To “pummel” something means to hit that thing repeatedly, especially with your fists. It is also often used to describe severe weather, or waves in a storm (e.g. The waves pummeled the side of the boat.)
A “deluge” is a very large amount of rain or water. It can be used to describe both the rain falling from the sky, and also rivers (e.g. After a few hours of heavy rain our local stream soon became a deluge.)
The adjective “raging” means severe or extreme; strong or violent. It can be used to describe a number of things. For example: a raging headache/fever/river/hunger/temper.
A “flash flood” is a sudden and unexpected flood of a local area. A common image of a flash flood is where a street becomes a river.
It seems as though the rainy season is over for now. Next, it looks like we’re in for a very hot summer. It’s been a strange year this year, so please take care!
See you next month!
Hello! My name is Simon.
I am from New Zealand, and have been living and teaching English in Japan since 1999.
My hobbies include movies, playing the guitar, gardening and hiking.