Central Tokyo sees longest period of August rainfall in 40 years

JIJI

Central Tokyo has seen 16 straight days of rainfall in August for the first time in 40 years, as days alternate between rainy and cloudy in an unbroken pattern on Japan’s Pacific coast.

The capital and other parts of eastern Japan are also getting little sun, with central Tokyo logging 32.6 hours of sunshine in the first 15 days of the month — only about 38 percent the level seen in an average year.

The sun shone in Sendai for 12.2 hours, or some 17 percent average levels, while the town of Esashi in Hokkaido saw just 8.3 hours, or 13 percent.

Rainfall in central Tokyo totaled 92 millimeters in the same period — 16 percent more than that seen in an average year. The city of Miyako in Iwate Prefecture and the city of Nagano saw rainfall more than triple.

The unusual weather is a consequence of strong cold winds flowing into the Tohoku and Kanto regions, with the Okhotsk high pressure system in the northeast of Hokkaido stronger than in normal years, the agency said.

“We’ve experienced such a weather pattern before. … We’re now set to emerge from it,” an agency official said.

With southwesterlies seen moving gradually north, summer heat is forecast to return to Tokyo around Tuesday or the following day, the official said.

Tohoku is predicted to have cloudy and rainy days for a week, but summer heat is expected to follow as the effect of the Okhotsk high pressure system weakens gradually, the official added.