Photo/IllutrationThe Asahi Shimbun

  • Photo/Illustraion

Average monthly temperatures for July in eastern Japan were the highest since records began in 1946, caused by a strong high pressure system in the Pacific Ocean, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The agency announced the data on Aug. 1. Eastern Japan’s monthly average temperature was up 2.8 degrees, and western Japan recorded the second hottest average July temperature since 1994.

Tokyo recorded an average of 28.3 degrees, 3.3 degrees higher than usual, while Nagoya sweltered at 29.3 degrees, 2.9 degrees higher than usual.

On July 23, the highest temperature ever logged in in Japan was in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, which baked at 41.1 degrees, surpassing the previous record set in 2013.

About a quarter of all observation sites in Japan experienced “excessively hot” weather when temperatures reached 35 degrees or higher that day. The agency called it “a form of disaster.”

Extreme rain also broke records in July. Measurements taken by the agency’s Automated Meteorological Data Acquisition system (AMeDAS) at 124 observation points, including Hiroshima, experienced unprecedented rainfall over a 48-hour period.

Western Japan and surrounding areas suffered the record deluge in early July due to the rainy season front and Typhoon No. 7. The agency said the rain was the result of an “abnormal climate.”

Average early July rain records were shattered in Amami Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, and Okinawa Prefecture, which received 832 percent of that in an average year, as well as western Japan, which received 372 percent, and northern Japan, which was soaked with 322 percent of the typical monthly rainfall. All were the highest since records began in 1961.

On Aug. 1, extremely hot weather was recorded at 200 monitoring points, including Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, at 38.6 degrees; Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture at 38.3 degrees; and Mino, Gifu Prefecture at 38.2 degrees.

The withering heat is expected to continue for at least one more week in western and eastern Japan.