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Summer 2018 hottest of postwar period: Japan Meteorological Agency

The surface temperature for central Japan is displayed in this image taken by the Earth observatory satellite Shikisai on Aug, 1, showing places with higher temperatures in dark red and cloud cover in white. (Image courtesy of JAXA)

TOKYO -- June through August 2018 was the hottest summer since the end of World War II, with the average temperature in eastern Japan 1.7 degrees Celsius higher than usual, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported.

For western Japan, the mercury was 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than the average year, and this summer was the second hottest since 1946 when statistics began to be recorded.

A total of 18 typhoons were observed during the three-month period, tying with the historic record in 1994. JMA officials said this summer set many records "because of the abnormal climate."

According to the agency, heat waves stagnated over the archipelago due to the formation of two-tier high pressure systems, comprising the Tibetan system above and the Pacific system below.

The Kanto-Koshin region in eastern Japan saw an average temperature that was 1.8 degrees higher than usual. The figure for the Tokai region in central Japan was 1.6 degrees higher, 1.5 in the Hokuriku region, and 1.3 for the regions of Tohoku in the north, Kinki and Chugoku in the west and Kyushu in the south. The temperatures for the northernmost Hokkaido and southernmost Okinawa regions were unchanged from the average year.

A record high of 41.1 degrees Celsius was recorded in the city of Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, on July 23. High temperature records were updated at 202 of 927 observation points across the nation. The total number of points where the mercury hit 35 degrees or higher reached 6,479 during this summer -- up from 5,014 in 2010.

As for typhoons, historic rains were observed along the Sea of Japan coast in northern Japan, the Pacific coast of western regions of the country and the Okinawa and Amami islands to the south. Okinawa and Amami had rainfall 1.77 times that of an average year, marking the largest amount of rainfall ever observed. The Pacific coast of western Japan, hit hard by massive downpours in late June and early July, saw 1.33 times more rain than usual.

(Japanese original by Kazuki Mogami, City News Department)

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