American forces in Japan this summer experienced one of the coolest, cloudiest summers in recorded history.

According to Japan Meteorological Agency statistics for the months of June through August, there were fewer sunny days in the Misawa area during that period than any other summer on record.

In Hachinohe city, 15 miles from Misawa, the agency observed 294.6 hours of sunlight during the three-month summer period, the fewest since the agency began tracking the data in 1937.

That’s 58 percent of the three-month average summer sunlight of 511.1 hours.

Previously, the summer with the least sunlight was 1954, when 361.0 hours of sunlight were recorded, statistics show.

Gray skies also prevailed over Tokyo and Iwakuni.

Tokyo experienced the second-fewest days of sunlight on record since 1891, according to statistics. The greater metropolitan area had 282.1 hours of total sunlight, or 63 percent of an average year.

In Yamaguchi city, about 60 miles west of Iwakuni, 360.7 hours of sunlight, or 69 percent of the average summer, were recorded, making it the third-cloudiest summer on record since 1966.

Except for Okinawa and southern Kyushu, Japan experienced the coolest summer since 1993, according to the weather statistics.

Hachinohe was 3.6 degrees cooler than the average this year, data show. The average temperature for Hachinohe is 67.3 degrees.

Northern Japan, including Hachinohe, was 2.16 degrees cooler than normal, officials said, making it the fifth-lowest reading since 1946.

Meteorologists track only the average temperature difference at regional levels. Average temperatures are tracked only at individual observatories.

Eastern Japan, including the greater Tokyo area, had its 10th-lowest average temperature for the three months at 1.08 degrees below average.

The average temperature for Tokyo is 75.2 degrees, statistics show. This year the average temperature was 1.44 degrees below average.

The cool, cloudy summer was caused by strong high atmospheric pressure over the Sea of Okhotsk and a weak Pacific anticyclone, meteorologists said.

author picture
Hana Kusumoto is a reporter/translator who has been covering local authorities in Japan since 2002. She was born in Nagoya, Japan, and lived in Australia and Illinois growing up. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and previously worked for the Christian Science Monitor’s Tokyo bureau.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now