Repeating downpour zones formed 68 times over parts of western Japan in just 11 days as torrential rain recently struck the area -- around the same number usually recorded across the country in a year, the Japan Weather Association said on July 12.
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Formation of the zones, which consist of cumulonimbus clouds, causes torrential rain to fall repeatedly over roughly the same area in the space of several hours -- a meteorological phenomenon known as "training."
The zones form when large amounts of warm, moist air continuously flow into stationary rain fronts. Recent atmospheric conditions are believed to have made it easy for these bands of rain to form.
According to the association, during the period of downpours between June 28 and July 8, a total of 21 such rain zones were observed in Kyushu, five in the Chugoku region, 30 in Shikoku, and six each in the Kinki and Chubu regions.
Looking at data over the three years from 2014, such precipitation zones formed 200 times between the spring and summer.
(Japanese original by Kazuki Mogami, City News Department)