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Hovering cold front provides challenges

Date Posted: 2007-09-07

One minute it’s sunny, the next minute it is raining.

It’s raining in Naha and Urasoe cities, but the Kadena and Yomitan area has only dark skies. Okinawa’s mixed up weather is being attributed to a lingering cold front stationary at 5,000 meters above the island, providing challenges to people trying to decide what to wear, what to do, and whether to carry an umbrella.

The meteorological experts say the hot air moves up over the island, colliding with the cold front, causing thunder storms. Predicting exactly where it will rain, and how much, is difficult. The cold front has been triggering strong thunderstorms for nearly a month now, with the record-producing deluge of 427.8mm in Naha City coming August 11th. That storm pounded the city’s Kokusai Street area, flooding dozens of businesses and shops as a nearby river overflowed its banks.

At the same time, Daitou Island hasn’t received any rain since July, and sugar cane crops are suffering. August historically provides plenty of rain, but heads are being scratched trying to figure what the weather will be this week.

The spontaneous downpours are frustrating housewives. One woman tells of doing her laundry, hanging it out to dry, then going to the supermarket. “When I came out, it was raining. I had to wash the clothes over again.” After washing clothes again, it rained again, so she had to wash the clothes a third time.

Sports teams, not to mention golfers, found it difficult to concentrate on their pursuits. A soccer match was playing in Naha City when thunderstorms broke out, stalling things. As the players huddled beneath a tree, they could see sunny skies only a few kilometers away. Neither players nor spectators had umbrellas, and all were sopping wet before the match finally resumed a half hour later.

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