Jul 24, 2021 - Sports

Heat wave brings humid, hot temperatures to Tokyo Olympics

Tennis: Olympics, practice at Ariake Tennis Park.
Philipp Kohlschreiber from Germany wipes his face during tennis practice at the Olympics. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

A heat wave in Tokyo pushing temperatures into the 90s with high levels of humidity has posed yet another challenge for athletes competing in the Olympic Games.

Why it matters: The extreme heat — making the Tokyo Games one of the hottest Olympics in decades — has made organizers reschedule matches and push events to the early morning hours or dusk to avoid the scorching sun, NBC reports.

  • Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva lost consciousness during a competition likely due to heat stroke, AP reports.
  • At the beach volleyball arena, organizers have started hosing down the sand after competitors complained it was burning their feet, per NBC.

The big picture: Sultry weather conditions in Tokyo are not new, but due to climate change, the city's temperatures are increasingly hot.

  • Temperatures on Saturday climbed to nearly 34°C (93°F) across the greater Tokyo region, with humidity levels above 80%
  • Compared to 1964, the last time Japan hosted the Summer Olympics, the July and August temperatures in Tokyo are 2.7 degrees warmer, per NBC. There are also on average eight more days of 95-plus-degree weather than there were in 1964.
  • The International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Games organizers released recommendations for athletes to prevent overheating.

Of note: Tropical Storm Nepartak, which formed Friday night over the western Pacific Ocean, may bring some heavy rain midweek, but also may stay north of Tokyo. The details of the storm are unclear at this point.

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