Japan is heading for a hotter-than-average summer, according to weather forecasts, in a development that could mean periods of extreme heat at the Tokyo Olympics.
Forecasts from the Japan Meteorological Agency and Weathernews, the private meteorological company, suggest that the North Pacific high-pressure zone will extend into Tokyo in July.
If the first predictions are correct, heat and humidity will be an additional problem for athletes, especially if Covid-19 means they don’t have a long acclimatization period in the village before the Games.
The high temperature could also make it more difficult to implement Covid-19 countermeasures, such as the mask port.
The Olympic Games they should be held between July 23 and August 8, at the peak of the notoriously hot and humid summer in Japan. The Paralympics are scheduled from August 24 to September 5. Both events have been postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A hot summer would be particularly unfortunate because last July, when the Games were originally held, it was unusually cool in Japan.
Weathernews said the temperature was higher than average in the Tokyo area, and closer to normal in northern and western Japan. It predicted temperature peaks in late July and late August.
“The key to heat is high-pressure areas in Tibet and the North Pacific,” said Tatsuya Sasaki, Weathernews forecaster. “If the maximum of the North Pacific and Tibetan overlaps, we can expect a heat wave.”
Average daily maximum temperature about 30 degrees in the summer of Tokyo is average relative humidity about 80 percent. But if there is a “double high” in atmospheric pressure, Japan could experience consecutive days with maximum temperatures above 35C, Sasaki said.
“We expect temperatures above average between June and August,” Motoaki Takekawa told the JMA. He said the forecast was still very uncertain and that the weather was probably closer to average in the second half of the summer.
Long-standing concerns about the summer heat in Tokyo meant the Olympic marathon was moving into the northern city of Sapporo. When Tokyo hosted the 1964 Olympic Games, they were held in October.
The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee discussed the forecast at an executive council meeting last week, warning that it needed to harmonize measures to deal with Covid-19 and extreme heat.
Take into consideration how you can maintain a social distance under the tents in the shade of the sun, how you can avoid heat stroke for people wearing masks and how you can sort out the flow of heat stroke victims.
In his original offer document for the Games, Tokyo said of the summer: “With many days of cool, sunny weather, this period provides an ideal climate for athletes to do their best.”