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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Typhoon Neoguri expected in Ulsan this week

Typhoon Neoguri, which is currently classed as a Category 4 Super-typhoon with winds up to 250km/hr, is blowing it’s heart out over the East China Sea, and bearing down on poor Okinawa, Japan, which is a typhoon magnet and gets pummelled regularly.

The current forecast predicts that Ulsan has a 70% chance of being in the path of this typhoon, which will likely make landfall here on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. By that point, Neoguri will be of strong to normal intensity, and medium to small scale. The winds are forecast between 112 and 155km/hr by that point, which would make it a category 1 typhoon, or a severe tropical storm.

If you’re from an American Gulf Coast state or another bit of the planet that often gets typhoon/hurricane/cyclones, you’ve probably experienced worse storms than what we’ll get here in Ulsan, but if you’re new to the experience, it can be a bit worrying. In the past, most of the typhoons predicted to hit Ulsan have tended to either veer off in a new direction, or die-down significantly once they hit Japan, meaning we rarely get hit with more than a tropical storm. This generally means there will be a storm surge up the Taehwa River. The flood plain for the river is wide and deep, so while the few underpasses and the riverside recreational trails may be flooded and dangerous, the majority of the roadways stay fairly clear. For safety, keep well back from the water in the Taehwa, the neighbourhood streams, as well as along the coastal beaches. There may also be spot-flooding in other low-lying areas of the city, but most of the roads remain drivable (not recommended for scooters/bicycles/motorcycles!) as long as the rain is not blinding. The wind gusts can be alarming.

Usually, if it is still predicted to be a typhoon when it hits Ulsan, schools are cancelled and it’s recommended you stay indoors and not make unnecessary trips out and about, though it’s hard to know this early if the storm will actually be severe enough to warrant this. In my 9.5 years here, I have yet to experience a storm that cut off power or water supplies, so you likely don’t need to stock up on rations or candles, though you may want to make sure you have some food in the house to avoid having to go out. There is sometimes some wind-damage, such as blown down tree-limbs or unsecured signs that could hurt to get hit by, which is why staying inside is a good plan.

To track the storm, follow the Typhoon Information link to the Korean Meteorological Association.

To see the after-effects of the last major storm to hit Ulsan (Sanba), in 2012, check out our photos here and here.