Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

After more than a month it finally rained – then snowed, then rained again – yesterday.

What may be surprising for people in other climes is how the weather functions in this part of the world.

 

Tokorozawa receives over 1500 mm of rainfall annually, most of that falling in August and September, while June has the highest number of rainy days.

Summers are notorious for their high relative humidity – even temperatures in the low 20’s can feel uncomfortable, but they may go up to the mid 30’s.  My private joke is “if you want a glass of water in the summer, just squeeze a handful of air”, but at 80% or more humidity, no-one finds it funny.  It’s sometimes like living in a sauna.

Even on sunny days, there is a haze on the horizon.

 

Winter is the extreme opposite.  December, January and February combined have fewer rainy days than June, and both the temperature and humidity plummet.  Single digit daytime maximums are not uncommon, and relative humidity may fall to 25% or less.  

Clear days offer stunning views of Mt. Fuji and the Chichibu-Okutama mountains, but are murderously cold and sap the moisture from one’s skin.

The cold plays havoc indoors too.  What little humidity there is condenses on cold surfaces like windows and drips onto the floor.

Winter is the busiest time for the local fire brigade because most people use portable kerosene heaters, and the wood in the house construction becomes tinder-dry.

 

As I write this, rain and sleet are falling and a puddle of condensation has gathered at the base of my windows.  The forecast is for a cold, wet and miserable weekend.

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