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Okinawa boils in record heat, more of same expected

Date Posted: 2003-07-24

The thermometer’s registering near record temperatures on Okinawa. As the summer heat continues, officials at Okinawa Meteorological Agency announced that the Naha temperature of 34.5 degrees centigrade (94 fahrenheit) on Sunday was the third highest on record for July. On the same day, Iriomote recorded 34.6 degrees, Miyako Island 34.2 and Ishigaki Island 33.5 degrees.

The big news is that the agency says there’s more to come. The OMA recorded more than 35 degrees in Naha (95 fahrenheit) in 2001, and officials say it is likely the record will be broken within the next few days.

There was also another phenomenon visible on Sunday, as a circular rainbow could be observed at many locations. Meteorological observatory officials say that such circular rainbows appear when clouds form rapidly at the height of about 10 kilometers. As the clouds roll around because of turbulence, the sun rays are reflected from the cloud and form a circular shaped rainbow. “Such rainbows can appear on almost any day when circumstances are right, not only on very hot days,” an official at the agency said.

Prefecture health officials are warning against sunstroke. “Even local people should be careful when they are outdoors. Many tourists have already been treated for sunstroke and anyone spending time anywhere under the sun should be careful,” a doctor at a Naha hospital said. He advises anyone spending time outdoors to drink plenty of water and wear a hat. “As the head is the most heat sensitive part of the body, one should always protect it,” the doctor said.

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