Summer heat could be a 'nightmare' for Tokyo Games

Blazing heat could make the Tokyo Olympics 'a nightmare', an advisor to the organising committee told Reuters on Tuesday (September 8).

Although this year Japan enjoyed a mild Summer, the Games, which have now been delayed until July next year, could play out in a dangerous mix of heat and humidity.

That's according to Makoto Yokohari, a professor of envrironment and urban planning who has analysed data going back to the 1984 Olympics.

"You have to count not only temperature but also humidity. These two are combined. When you can combine these two, as you can easily see from here (pointing to supporting graph) Tokyo is the worst (Olympic city for heat) in the history."

Yokohari found that in his research, Tokyo has the highest average temperature and precipitation of any Olympics host city, with August averaging highs of around 30 degrees Celsius and lows of 24 over three decades.

He's already raised the prospect of shifting the date, to the International Olympic Committee, and said organisers should be prepared for the worst.

On Tuesday a Tokyo 2020 spokesman, Masa Takaya responded and said the Japanese organisers "are not optimistic about the summer weather in Tokyo at all."

"If we could plan this postponed Olympic Games in November then I am sure the situation could have been much, much but better but unfortunately the IOC (International Olympic Committee) said 'no, no, no, no, it is going to be in July."

With temperatures rising around the globe, Yokohari said the Tokyo Games could be a "gamechanger".

Video Transcript

- Blazing heat could make the Tokyo Olympics a nightmare, an advisor to the organizing committee told Reuters on Tuesday. Although this year Japan enjoyed a mild summer, the games which have now been delayed until July next year, could play out in a dangerous mix of heat and humidity. That's according to Makoto Yokahair, a professor of environment and urban planning, who has analyzed data going back to the 1984 Olympics.

MAKOTO YOKAHARI: You have to count not only the temperature, but also humidity. And these two are combined. And so when you combine these two, as you can easily see from here, that Tokyo is the worst in the history.

- Yokahair found that in his research, Tokyo has the highest average temperature and precipitation of any Olympics host city, with August averaging highs of around 30 degrees Celsius and lows of 24 over three decades. He's already raised the prospect of shifting the date to the International Olympic Committee and said organizers should be prepared for the worst.

On Tuesday, a Tokyo 2020 spokesman, Masa Takaya, responded and said the Japanese organizers quote, "are not optimistic about the summer weather in Tokyo at all."

MAKOTO YOKAHARI: If we could plan this postponed Olympic games in November, then I'm sure that the situation could have been much, much better. But unfortunately. IOC said, no, no, no, no, no. It's going to be in July.

- With temperatures rising around the globe, Yokahari said the Tokyo games could be a game changer.