Torrential rain forecast for southwestern Japan

Japanese weather officials are warning of bands of heavy rain clouds that could bring torrential downpours in some parts of the southwestern prefectures of Kagoshima and Miyazaki from Monday night through Tuesday.

The officials are urging people to be on alert as the rows of clouds may suddenly increase the risk of disasters.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says rain is becoming heavier, especially in Shikoku and Kyushu regions. It says this is because a warm, moist air mass is flowing into a front stretching from a low-pressure system hovering over the Sea of Japan.

It says that after the front passes, a very moist air mass from a typhoon and another warm moist air mass from the edge of a high pressure system are expected to flow into another front and a low-pressure system.

This will make atmospheric conditions very unstable through Wednesday in areas from the southwestern regions of Okinawa and Amami to the country's east. Very heavy rain and localized thunderstorms may hit.

In particular, linear rain bands could form in Kagoshima and Miyazaki.

In the 24 hours through Wednesday afternoon, rainfall is expected to be 300 millimeters in southern Kyushu, 250 millimeters in Amami, Shikoku, and Kinki regions.

Weather officials are calling for caution against landslides, flooding in low-lying areas and swollen rivers. It also advises people to be alert for lightning, tornadoes and hail. People are urged to take shelter in sturdy buildings if there is a sign of developed thunderheads approaching.

Meanwhile, the first typhoon of the season, Ewiniar, which formed on Sunday, is moving northeast while developing. The storm is expected to approach the Daitojima region of Okinawa Prefecture. Caution is advised against strong winds and high waves.