Photo/IllutrationThe “tsuyu” rainy season started in the Kanto-Koshin region on June 7. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

With unusually cool temperatures persisting in recent days, and a dearth of sunny weather, one cannot help but ask, what exactly is going on?

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the answer is blowing in the wind.

Wide areas of the Kanto-Koshin and Tohoku regions have been seeing atypical summer weather in recent days owing to a double-whammy of cold, wet winds from a high-pressure front over the Okhotsk Sea and a rainy season front, the agency said.

At the same time, a high-pressure front that brings warmer temperatures in summers has been unable to reach the main island of Honshu from the Pacific, likely owing to the influence of El Nino.

As a result, Japan may be in for a relatively cooler summer than usual.

In central Tokyo, the daily high stayed below 25 degrees Celsius for six consecutive days until July 10. It was the first time for the capital to see such cooler temperatures for the time period since 1993.

Meanwhile, the capital has seen just 5.2 hours of sunshine this month, just above 10 percent of the average.

Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, saw only 2.1 hours of sunshine, while Utsunomiya recorded only 4.7 hours.

The mild weather is expected to continue until around July 20.

The agency expects that the Pacific high-pressure front will increase in strength and bring a rise in temperatures from around that time.

The "tsuyu" rainy season in Okinawa Prefecture has already ended this year and is expected to end in other regions in late July.

This year's spell of cooler weather is in stark contrast to the record-breaking heat in July last year, though the agency expects temperatures to be closer to an average year from later this month through September.

"We don't anticipate as many extremely hot days this year, and it might be a cooler summer overall," an agency official said.