Why it matters: Increased rainfall has raised concerns about infrastructure and safety.
Data from the Japan Meteorological Agency indicate that the frequency of heavy rain events has approximately doubled since 1980.
Linear precipitation zones characterized by cumulonimbus clouds can cause prolonged heavy rainfall.
Such events have recently affected regions such as Tokai and northern Kyushu, causing significant damage.
The Key Points
- Yahoo! JAPAN has updated two applications, "Yahoo! Weather" (for Android) and "Yahoo! Weather & Disasters", to display linear precipitation zones visually.
- The apps will alert users of a developing linear precipitation zone via the "Rain Cloud Radar".
- This feature provides data on the progress of precipitation at 10-minute intervals up to one hour in advance.
- From 1976 to 2022, there has been an increase in heavy precipitation events. Events with 1-hour rainfall of 50 mm or more increased by 28.7 events per decade.
- The most recent decade (2013-2022) saw an increase of about 1.5 times compared to the first decade (1976-1985). Rainfall events of 80 mm or more within one hour have increased about 2.7 times per decade.
- These figures underscore the changing rainfall patterns and the importance of timely warning systems.
The Big Picture: Yahoo! JAPAN's enhancements to its weather applications align with its mission to use technology for the safety and convenience of the public.
As weather patterns change, technology companies need to innovate and adapt. With more than 56 million downloads of these applications, the importance of this update is evident.
As the potential impact of climate change on these rainfall patterns is debated globally, Japan's use of technology for disaster prevention is noteworthy.
*Note: Updates for iOS users are expected in August.