A deadly heat wave taking over Japan has led to an all-time record high temperature for the nation on Monday.
In Kumagaya, about 40 miles northwest of the capital city of Tokyo, the thermometer rose to 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41.4 degrees Celsius), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. That broke the previous record of 105.8 degrees Fahrenheit (41.0 degrees Celsius) in Ekawasaki on August 12, 2013.
The culprit of this heat: a large dome of high pressure centered over the country, reaching geopotential heights of over 591 decameters, which is highly unusual for this part of the globe. Once heights reach this threshold, significantly high temperatures usually occur. For a comparison, the eastern US experienced a heat dome of a slightly stronger magnitude, which was responsible for widespread high temperatures into the 90s.
This comes after deadly flooding which killed over 200 people in Japan earlier this month as a result of a tropical cyclone. As residents clean up from this catastrophe, they now have had to deal with intense heat and humidity over the past two weeks. At least 40 deaths have been reported in the country as a result of this heat so far.
In nearby South Korea, it has also been unusually hot. According to South Korea’s weather agency, the country’s highest-recorded morning low temperature was recorded in the city of Gangneung. The temperature was 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) at 6:45 am on Monday.
According to Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1,040 people have fallen ill because of the hot weather from May 20 to July 21, an increase of 61 percent over the same period last year.
Thankfully, the heat will relax later this week.