A change in the weather pattern has brought hot and dry conditions to Japan, and one location even reached the all-time highest temperature every for the country. But restrictions from the ongoing pandemic will make it difficult to find relief from the heat.
The front, called the mei-yu front, was responsible for theflooding rainfall devastated parts of Japan during the month of July, and typically brings the rainy season to eastern China and Japan during the summer months. But for August, the front has shifted north, allowing for an area of high pressure to settle over southern Japan instead.
This high pressure brought with it the dog days of summer, which arrived just last week across much of Japan.
Southwesterly to westerly winds in this pattern will continue to help usher in higher temperatures across much of the country into the middle of the week. Winds blowing from the mountains into the valleys aided in in the building heat.
Temperatures from the greater Tokyo region to Kumamoto are expected to remain about 2-7 degrees C (4-10 degrees F) above normal temperatures into the weekend.
Normal high temperatures for this time of year in Fukuoka and Tokyo 32 C (89 F) and 31 C (87 F), respectively.
Even with temperatures this far above average, for mid- to late-August, the peak of the heat for most locations, already likely occured.
On Monday, the temperature of 41.1 C (106 F) was reach in Hamamatsu, tying the all-time temperature record for Japan.
The previous record highest temperature for the country was set in July of 2018 during the third week of brutal heat wave. The thermometer reached 41.1 C (106 F) in Kumagaya.
Prior to Monday, the highest temperature during this heat wave, was in city of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture on Sunday, August 16, with a high of 40.9 C (105.6 F) in the afternoon, according to the Japan Times. As such, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued both heatstroke and high-temperature warnings Sunday.
It was reported on Sunday that a total of 27 people have died in Tokyo from heat-related illnesses in the past week.
Normally residents and visitors would flock to the beaches in the sizzling heat, but many are closed in an effort to control the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Just 60 percent of the nations 1,156 beaches were opened up to the pubic this year.
People pack the Shonan Beach to cool off from scorching summer heat in Fujisawa, near Tokyo, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
In the Tokyo area, 44 beaches are still open, although most are located on offshore islands.
Without this cooling location for residents, many were left to look elsewhere for relief from the brutal heat.
Elderly residents and those with pre-existing medical conditions will be most susceptible to heat-related illnesses and should do their best to stay in an air-conditioned space, especially during the afternoon and early evening.
Temperatures began to soar across the western and central portions of the country last week, with afternoon thermometers of 34-37 degrees C (93-97 degrees F) common across the area through the weekend.
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