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Datum objave: 01.05.2018

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JMA expects scorching summer after record-setting spring

The mercury stayed above normal nationwide in March and April, setting record high average temperatures in the Kanto and Koshin regions based on records dating back to 1946, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The agency forecasts a very hot summer this year across the nation, raising concerns including an increase in the number of people suffering heatstroke. Meanwhile, businesses are accelerating preparations for a summer shopping blitz, expecting high temperatures.

According to the agency, cherry blossoms in full bloom were observed in Kochi on March 19, the earliest day in the nation since relevant data were first kept.

In Abashiri, Hokkaido, the mercury hit 27.6 C on April 21, which was 17.5 C higher than an average year. Also in Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, the temperature reached over 30 C.

In central Tokyo, 50 of the 61 days in March and April, or more than 80 percent, had high temperatures that exceeded those of an average year. Also, temperatures exceeded 20 C on 30 days — 21 days more than average.

March’s average temperatures in the Tohoku, Kanto and Koshin, Tokai and Kinki regions reached record highs. April’s average temperature in the Kanto and Koshin region was 2.7 C higher than average, setting a new record for the first time in 20 years.

The average temperature in central Tokyo in April was a record high of 17 C, which was 3.1 C higher than average. Chiba and Yokohama also saw record highs in the same month.

Kirin Co., a Tokyo-based major beer maker, increased production of its flagship Ichiban Shibori beer by 11 percent in the March to April period on a year-to-year basis and plans to raise production by up to 25 percent in the May to June period.

If the temperature rises 1 C in summer, the sales volume is said to increase by 800,000 large bottles per day. “We hope the good weather will continue,” said a Kirin employee.

Tokyo-based major home appliance retailer Bic Camera Inc. has expanded its sales floor space for electric fans and increased the number of items at each of its stores since around April 20, about two weeks earlier than usual.

According to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, vegetables have grown faster and been shipped out earlier than usual, which has lowered the price of lettuce, for instance, by about 20 percent compared to average. Overall vegetable prices are also expected to stay low, the ministry said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency attributes the unusually high temperatures this spring mainly to two factors: warm air drifting from the south as westerlies moved farther north than usual; and an increase in sunshine as a result of the strong high-pressure system.

High temperatures are also expected to hit the nation this summer due to high-pressure systems over the Pacific Ocean and Tibet, the agency said.

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