Extreme heat and tropical rainfall pound China and Japan

·3 min read
Extreme heat and tropical rainfall pound China and Japan

People walk over a pedestrian crossing under an intense sun Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in Tokyo. Japan's government issued a warning for possible power crunch in the Tokyo area on Monday, asking offices and residents to save energy as the capital region is hit by sweltering heat, with weather officials announcing an earliest end to the rainy season in decades. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Extreme weather is impacting a wide swath of Asia, with both China and Japan seeing a dangerous combination of record-high temperatures and intense rainfall over the past few weeks.

In Tokyo, numerous heat records were broken over the past few weeks. On Sunday, temperatures in the city rose to 96 degrees Fahrenheit (35.5 degrees Celsius), the ninth day in a row that temperatures hit or exceeded that mark -- setting a new record for persistent heat.

The record for days above 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) was set in 2015, when temperatures stayed above that mark for eight days. Temperature records in the city go back to 1875.

Isesaki, about 50 miles (80 km) north of Tokyo, hit 40 degrees Celsius - or 104 degrees Fahrenheit - on June 25, the first time ever in the country the temperature has hit 40 degrees Celsius in June.

A biker wipes sweat off his face as he takes a break at a park in Tokyo, Monday, June 27, 2022. The Japanese government warned of possible power shortages Monday in the Tokyo region, asking people to conserve energy as the country endures an unusually intense heat wave. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

And extreme heat is not the only major weather impact the island nation has dealt with recently.

In southern Japan, then-Tropical Depression Aere came ashore in Okinawa, the first time a storm has made landfall there in five years. Aere, which was tracking through Japan as a tropical depression before heading offshore and possibly restrengthening, has dumped heavy rain across the region, setting new rainfall records.

According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, Kubokawa, a town along the southern Japanese coast, received nearly 14.5 inches (368 mm) of rain within 12 hours, a record for July. In Susaki, a city farther to the north, just under 14 inches (355 mm) fell during the same timespan, setting a new all-time record.

Some areas saw nearly 5 inches (127 mm) of rain in an hour, according to The Japan Times, with heavy rainfall in Kochi Prefecture flooding more than 20 houses and triggering landslides.

FILE - A girl runs through a fountain at an outdoor shopping area on an unseasonably hot day in Beijing, Saturday, June 25, 2022. From the snowcapped peaks of Tibet to the tropical island of Hainan, China is sweltering under the worst heatwave in decades while rainfall hit records in June. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

China has also seen dueling extremes, with heavy rainfall in southern parts of the country keeping conditions cool, while extreme heat in the north has set records in both Shanghai and Beijing.

"Aside from setting records in those two cities the month of June, the corridor from Shanghai to Beijing into Mongolia was 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1-2.2 degrees Celsius) warmer than normal during the month," said AccuWeather Lead International Forecaster Jason Nicholls.

"There can be some heat issues around Shanghai into next week, but there are no big heat concerns farther north toward Beijing," Nicholls added.

According to The Associated Press, the northeastern Chinese provinces of Shandong, Jilin and Liaoning saw record rainfall in June. Even with rain chilling these provinces, the nation's average temperature climbed above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 degrees Celsius) in June, nearly 2 degrees F (1.1 degrees C) warmer than last year and the country's highest June temperature since 1961.

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