The city of Sanjo in central Japan recorded a temperature of 40.4 ° C on Thursday, a national record for September, as a large area along the Sea of Japan coast experienced extraordinary heat.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the intense heat in the city of Niigata Prefecture may have been caused by a Foehn wind – a hot, dry gust periodically descending the leeward slope of a mountain.
The agency also said warm air from the East China Sea was blowing towards Typhoon Maysak which moved north over the Sea of Japan.
People walk in the sunshine in central Japanese city of Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture, as temperatures hit 40.2C on September 3, 2020 (Kyodo)
It was the first time that the mercury exceeded 40 ° C in Japan in September. The previous record for the month was 39.7 C recorded in Kumagaya in Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo, on September 2, 2000.
Temperatures also skyrocketed Thursday in cities in northeastern Japan along the coast, reaching 39.1C in Tsuruoka, Yamagata prefecture, the agency said.
Some other cities have experienced temperatures above 38 ° C, such as Wajima in Ishikawa Prefecture, with 38.6 ° C.
Many parts of the prefectures, including Hokkaido, Aomori, Akita, Yamagata, Toyama and Ishikawa, renewed their temperature records for September.
The highest temperature on record in Japan with 41.1 ° C was recorded last month in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, and Kumagaya in July 2018.
The meteorological agency also warned that powerful Typhoon Haishen could reach the waters around the Amami island chain in southwestern Japan as early as Sunday and pass through the Kyushu region.
The heat wave poses a challenge to the medical system already affected by the virus
World faces intense heat wave amid lingering coronavirus fears