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And the Forecast for Tokyo 2020 is ...


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I think they're trying to argue it's gonna be hotter than Qatar:

Olympic Athletes in Tokyo Risk Hottest Temperatures in 120 Years

Olympic athletes risk the hottest weather in more than a century at the 2020 Tokyo Games as high summer temperatures in Japan’s capital highlight concern about holding global sporting events under extreme conditions.

Tokyo is set to host its second Olympics in July and August, the hottest months in the city, where temperatures soared to 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) last month. FIFA, soccer’s global ruling body, will meet next month to discuss switching the 2022 World Cup to Qatar’s winter amid concerns the summer heat would be unsafe for players and fans.

A temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher during the men’s marathon at the Tokyo Olympics would make it the hottest in at least 120 years. The warmest marathon in the history of the Games took place in 1900 in Paris, when more than half the runners had to withdraw due to exhaustion as temperatures were estimated at between 35 degrees and 39 degrees, according to the Journal of Sports Sciences.

“It is unwise to plan an event in such extreme conditions,” said George Havenith, professor of environmental physiology and ergonomics at the U.K.’s Loughborough University, who has visited Tokyo several times in the summer. “There also is an increased risk for the spectators.”

In addition, higher humidity in Tokyo makes summer temperatures feel hotter than in climates like Athens, where there’s less moisture in the air, according to Tadayuki Iwaya, a Tokyo-based meteorologist at Weather Caster Network.

Humidity’s Effect

The temperature would feel like 63 degrees Celsius should the mercury hit 38 degrees Celsius with Tokyo’s average 71 percent humidity, according to the U.S. National Weather Service’s Heat Index calculator. In comparison, the average daily high of 33.2 degrees Celsius and 45.3 percent humidity in Athens in August, when it held the marathon in the 2004, would feel like 35 degrees Celsius, according to the index.

The previous time Tokyo staged the Olympic Games, in 1964, it held them in October, when the mean daily high was 19.6 degrees Celsius, data from the Japan Meteorological Agency show. Tokyo’s mean highs were 31.4 degrees in July this year and 33.2 last month.

Hisao Shuto, a spokesman for the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee, said an organizing committee will be set up in February to decide details of the Olympics in Japan.

Tokyo Proposal

Japan proposed the Olympic Games be held from July 24 to Aug. 9, 2020, in its plan for the event. Istanbul suggested Aug. 7 to Aug. 23, 2020, and Madrid the same dates, according to an International Olympic Committee report on the bids.

The dates for the Tokyo Games were proposed to correspond with the international sports calendar, specifically between July 15 and Aug. 31, said Andrew Mitchell, media relations manager for the IOC.

“The health of the athletes is clearly a top priority for the IOC, but at this stage it is too early to comment on any specific measures, such as holding the marathon in the morning at Beijing 2008,” Mitchell said in an e-mail.

Other countries have held the Olympics at later dates. Sydney held the Olympics in late September to early October in 2000, as did Seoul in 1988, while Mexico held the Games in October 1968.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter faces opposition to rescheduling the 2022 World Cup from Europe’s biggest soccer leagues, clubs, and broadcasting rights owner, which are concerned changing the dates would disrupt national leagues and clash with other sporting events.

FIFA may have “made a mistake” in awarding the World Cup to Qatar in the summer, Blatter told Inside World Football.

More Discussions

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said last week FIFA officials should have held more discussions about Qatar’s summer climate before the Middle Eastern country was awarded hosting rights in December 2010.

The combination of humidity and heat in Japan could be debilitating as athletes seek to compete at the highest level. More than a dozen people in Japan died of heatstroke and thousands were hospitalized last month when Tokyo’s high climbed to 38 degrees.

“The longer the event, typically the higher the risk of accumulation of heat in the body, with possible symptoms of heat exhaustion or even heatstroke in the worst case,” said Loughborough University’s Havenith. The 10-kilometer race and the marathon would be among those posing the biggest risk, he said.

The Texas-based University Interscholastic League, created by the University of Texas to provide guidance to athletic teachers, has produced manuals with recommendations to coaches on how much exercise to do during summer months, including limits on how many hours and how frequently student athletes can practice.

Heat Exhaustion

“The maximum length of any single practice session is three hours,” said Kate Hector, a spokeswoman for UIL. “All of these rules were created to help prevent heat illness or heat related injuries.”

At the Athens Olympics women’s marathon in 2004, eight of the 66 women who finished the course took more than three hours, according to Marathon Guide. Temperatures reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the race.

“Running a marathon would be especially difficult,” Weather Caster’s Iwaya said. “Even regular exercise is difficult in that heat.”

At least six athletes died during a 2011 heat wave in the U.S. south, according to a report from ABC News.

Tokyo’s August high and humidity this year generated a heat index of 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius), according to the U.S. National Weather Service, which designates that level as a “danger” zone for prolonged exposure or strenuous activity.

“Tokyo could try changing the times of events to cooler periods,” Iwaya said. “But it’s already 30 degrees Celsius in the morning.”

Bloomberg

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Perhaps worry about the climate when the days til the games are under 1000 mmm?

Here's a description of Tokyo's "average" summer, from World Weather Online:

"The weather in Tokyo in summer (June to September) can be shockingly humid and hot with temperatures as high as 40°C, especially during September's typhoons and June's rainy season."

Even without exceptional conditions, that sounds to me like a permanent issue which needs to be addressed by TOCOG.

(Meanwhile: "Summer, from June to mid-September, is simply unpredictable in London.")

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What is the surprise? Everybody here know how hot Tokyo is during the summer and the worst, humidity!!!! That is why the sound of the cicadas are terribly annoying in those beautiful Japanese gardens and green areas. The sounds leave you deaf. But it seems that many people here are more concern about Doha's heat than the one in Tokyo. B)

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Seoul held the Games in late september because of the climate and the conditions were pretty ideal. Almost makes me wish that the Tokyo ceremonies are ruined by torrential rain.

Tokyo's stadium is going to have a retractable roof, so they should be able to close it for the ceremonies if it rains.

I think there is zero chance that the Tokyo Games will be moved out of the July-August timeframe. It's one of the reasons why the IOC has rejected Doha twice, and you can bet that NBC will use every power it has to make sure that the Games don't get moved to September/October. One of the main reasons why the IOC now requires the Summer Games to be held between July 15-August 31 is because NBC and the other American networks told them after Sydney that they wouldn't pay big money again for a Games in September.

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Tokyo's stadium is going to have a retractable roof, so they should be able to close it for the ceremonies if it rains.

I think there is zero chance that the Tokyo Games will be moved out of the July-August timeframe. It's one of the reasons why the IOC has rejected Doha twice, and you can bet that NBC will use every power it has to make sure that the Games don't get moved to September/October. One of the main reasons why the IOC now requires the Summer Games to be held between July 15-August 31 is because NBC and the other American networks told them after Sydney that they wouldn't pay big money again for a Games in September.

I think there is zero chance that the Tokyo Games will be moved out of the July-August timeframe.

Of course they won't be. Still, makes me wonder why not have them from 14th to 30th of August when it could be slightly cooler.

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Of course they won't be. Still, makes me wonder why not have them from 14th to 30th of August when it could be slightly cooler.

I'm not sure if there's that much difference between the temperature and humidity in mid-August vs. late-July. When the IAAF World Championships were held in Osaka in 2007, the competition was in early-September and it was still very hot and humid then.

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Yeah, all the IAAF WC's in Japan and Korea (1991, 2007 and 2011) have been held in the last week of August/first week of September. That's why I thought it might be slightly better time than July. At least in Daegu I remember the commentators mentioning that the weather had become a bit less oppressive after the first half of that competition.

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I went to Tokyo during July a few years back. It was pretty humid, but not as ridiculously humid and hot as the article states. Temperatures have changed since then, but one day where the temperature is that high for a few hours (which can be the case in the matter of recording "record temperatures") might effect a certain event, but most likely will not disrupt the games as a whole.

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OK, now bear in mind that Japan is an island nation. The average August temperature and humidity in Tokyo are higher than in Beijing.

Not a lot of difference in August, island or not. Tokyo certainly wouldn't be any worse temperature and humidity-wise than Atlanta 1996.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tokyo would be cooler in July-August and the rains will provide some cooling or a return of the humidity. But that's the way it is.

This summer was really hot and humid in Japan and the rains NEVER provided coolness at all.Imagine when you pour water on a hot pan.I've experienced similar to this many times here in Japan. :lol:

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