Record number of localized torrential rains expected
Weathernews Inc., a private weather information company, predicts about 80 localized torrential downpours to occur during this summer, which is about 2.2 times the number Okinawa had last year.
The company predicts that most of them would occur at the end of July and in the middle part of August when wet air flows into the high-pressure system over the Pacific Ocean.
A localized torrential rain occurs when a rapidly growing cumulonimbus cloud meets an ascending air current warmed by strong sunshine. That causes rain to start pouring down in a limited local area often accompanied with thunder.
Localized torrential rains may cause severe flash floods. In August 2009, Gabu River flowing through the Makishi shopping district in Naha rose suddenly after a torrential rain, and a subsequent flash flood washed away four people ho were found dead afterwards.