Rainy season off to late start in Shikoku

Japanese weather officials announced on Monday that the rainy season has begun in the western region of Shikoku.

A low-pressure system and a damp air mass are bringing rain to the area's Pacific coast.

Meteorological authorities forecast that it will be mostly cloudy or rainy in the next seven days, and an approaching rain front and a low-pressure system may bring rough weather to the Pacific coast on Tuesday.

Shikoku entered the rainy season eight days later than average and 32 days later than last year.

The season is also likely to start later than usual in the rest of the country where it has not begun.

The Meteorological Agency attributes the delay to the slow movement of the seasonal rain front, which forms on the southern side of westerly winds.

In early June, a cold air mass stayed over wide areas from western to northern Japan, blocking the westerlies from moving northward and forcing them to deviate to south.

In addition, a Pacific high-pressure system didn't extend northward as far as it usually does. This caused the rain front to remain stationary over Okinawa and Amami.