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Japan had warmest spring since 1898 with early blooms, summer temperatures

NHK -- Jun 02
Weather officials say that Japan had the warmest spring in 125 years this year, characterized by early blooms on cherry trees, and summer-like temperatures on certain days in May.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says that the average temperature for the March-to-May period this year was 1.59 degrees warmer than the past 30-year average. That marked a new record high for spring since comparable figures became available, back in 1898.

In March, record-high temperatures melted snow at a number of ski resorts across Japan, leading to an early end to the skiing season. Flowers in tourist spots started blooming earlier than usual. Cherry trees in the capital Tokyo started blossoming 10 days earlier than usual.

Unusually warm temperatures in northern Japan in March and April also led to faster growth of crops. That made them vulnerable to frost as they sprouted early.

In May, some other places in central and eastern Japan, and even Tohoku in northern Japan, saw daytime temperatures rise above 35 degrees Celsius, levels that are normally observed in the height of summer.

The average sea surface temperature near Japan this spring was 0.6 degrees warmer than usual, marking the third warmest since record keeping began in 1982.

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