Deadly heat wave to grip Japan early this week

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Robert Richards, AccuWeather meteorologist
July 23, 2018, 3:03:47 AM EDT

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A deadly heat wave is expected to continue early this week across Japan.

After Ampil bypassed mainland Japan, generally dry weather will build back across all of southern and central Japan early this week.

While the dry weather is welcome for ongoing cleanup and recovery efforts, the heat will create dangerous conditions for relief workers and those still homeless following the flooding.

Generally dry weather will build back across all of southern and central Japan early this week.

Japan July 22


The heat wave has already claimed more than two dozen lives, while more than 10,000 other people have been hospitalized for heat-related illnesses, according to the Japan Times.

“AccuWeather estimates the death toll from the Japan heat wave is likely already in the hundreds despite the official toll of somewhat more than two dozen, and we predict the number will climb into the thousands before the heat wave ends,” AccuWeather President and Founder Dr. Joel N. Myers said. “The actual total human toll may not ever be known as heat-related fatality reports are historically underdone since not all deaths are correctly attributed to heat and some result from accelerating serious health issues and the fatalities show up weeks later. The elderly and those with pre-existent conditions, such as asthma and heart failure, are likely to face declining health due to exacerbation of their conditions due to weather. Heat exhaustion and stroke, dehydration, migraines, loss of sleep and mood alteration can all occur due to dangerous heat. Historical data shows that more people are likely to be involved in vehicle crashes due to heat-related impacts, such as decreased ability to concentrate, the poor quality of sleep they get and impaired mood, etc.”

“Further in areas not prone to heat, air conditioners are less prevalent and so there may not be places people can go for relief from the heat or they may not realize the toll the heat is taking on their body, and as a result do not drink sufficient water or take other precautions,” Myers said.

“To stay informed about the dangerous heat and to obtain the most accurate forecasts download the free AccuWeather app,” Myers said.

On Wednesday, temperatures soared to the highest levels in five years across Japan as the temperature peaked at 40.7 C (105.3 F) in the city of Tajimi.

On Sunday, Kumagaya hit 41.1 C (106 F), which surpassed the nation's previous highest temperature on record of 41.0 C (105.8 F) set in 2013.

Widespread temperatures of 35 C (95 F) will be reported each day this week across inland locations, while coastal communities can only expect modest relief from the heat.

Sweltering humidity will push AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures between 38 and 43 C (100 and 110 F) during the midday and afternoon hours.

Normal high temperatures range from 29 C (84 F) in Tokyo to 30 C (87 F) in Osaka and 31 C (88 F) in Nagoya, so this heat is well above normal.

Warm nights will only make the long-duration heat wave more dangerous, especially for the elderly and children.

Be sure to drink plenty of water, avoid outdoor exercise during the extreme heat and seek medical attention if you suffer from signs and symptoms of heat stroke.

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The heat will also hamper ongoing relief efforts following the most deadly flooding in decades earlier this month.

The death toll from the historic flooding reached 222 as of Monday evening with at least 21 people still missing according to The Japan Times. This is the deadliest rain-related disaster in Japan since 1982 when more than 300 people were killed in Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures.

Another tropical threat is expected to develop in the West Pacific this week and could have impacts on the weather across Japan by next weekend.

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