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Torrential rain that caused flooding and the evacuations of tens of thousands of people across the Kanto region on Thursday was the result of a mass of humid air unable to escape the area, a pileup of thunderclouds — and possibly climate change, experts said.

The heavy rainfall in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures was caused by stationary humid air covering a wide swath of sky in the Kanto region, which was unable to move in any direction. It was hemmed in to the west by a chunk of cold air over the Sea of Japan, where Typhoon Etau fizzled out, and a block of humid air to the east over the Pacific Ocean, where Typhoon Kilo was swirling, according to Kunihiro Naito, a forecaster at Weathernews Inc., a Chiba-based weather information company.

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