Japan issues extreme weather warnings

Tokyo, June 11 (IANS) The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) on Thursday issued extreme weather warnings to areas in South and North Kyushu, including Miyazaki And Kagoshima prefectures as well as to the north in Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures.

The JMA has warned of heavy rain and thunderstorms in the area, potentially leading to landslides as well as extensive flooding in low-lying areas, Xinhua news agency reported.

On Wednesday, Japan’s weather bureau said that an El Nino weather pattern had been identified, which may be linked to the current heavy rainfall in the south and southwest of Japan, adding that the weather pattern is intensifying and could last through the current rainy season into summer and could even last until winter.

“Currently, the conditions of the atmosphere and the ocean suggest a characteristic feature of El Nino more clearly than a month ago,” Japan’s weather bureau said on Wednesday.

In May the JMA first identified the El Nino weather pattern, saying it first emerged in spring and is likely to continue at least into autumn if not winter.

“The sea temperature was 1.2 degree Celsius higher than a base temperature in May, up from 0.8 degrees the previous month, meaning that El Nino is growing,” Ichiro Ishikawa, forecaster at Japan’s weather bureau said.

“In case of the 2009 El Nino, sea temperature hit 1.4 degrees above a base temperature at its peak in December 2009. So the current one is expected to grow to a similar degree or larger.”

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