China floods and Japan downpour blamed on Indian Ocean hot spot

China floods and Japan downpour blamed on Indian Ocean hot spot

  • Stalled high-pressure system leaves seasonal monsoon front stuck in place

TOKYO — The 2020 monsoon season in East Asia that is wreaking havoc in
China and Japan can be traced back to a warming hot spot in the Indian
Ocean, experts say.

Heavy rains in China have caused historic flooding along the Yangtze and
other rivers, killing dozens and straining the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s
largest hydroelectric dam. At least 40 million people — roughly the
populations of Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore combined — were in
flood-affected areas, which include more than 400 smaller rivers and Yangtze
tributaries.

In Japan, the rainy season officially ended Monday in the southwestern region
of Amami, the latest finish in data going back to 1951, and has yet to wrap up
in much of the rest of the country. A total of 208.3 meters of rain fell
nationwide — measured at nearly 1,000 collection points — over the first 10
days of July, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the most in 38
years.