Monday, August 4, 2014

Tropical Storm Halong

We had a close encounter with a typhoon (Halong) last week, but it stayed relatively mild (approx 65 mph winds), never reaching typhoon status in the Marianas. It is now a supertyphoon headed towards Japan! Out of our research islands, Rota was impacted the most, with lots of downed trees. Our sites and equipment made it out relatively unscathed though, with only a few downed trees and two overturned seed rain trays. Counts of fruit on trees on Rota were extraordinarily low across at least one site, which makes sense, given the visible abundance of fallen Premna, Psychotria, Neisosperma, and many other fruits that were on the forest floor.

This year is an El Nino year, and as such, it has already been more active in terms of typhoons/tropical storms than any recent year. The last big typhoon in Guam was 2002, and 2004 in Saipan... I wonder if we'll make it through this year without a hit. Stay tuned.