Japan's average spring temperature this year was the highest on record since comparable data became available in 1898, in the latest sign of global warming, the Japan Metrological Agency said Thursday.

The average temperature between March and May was 1.59 C warmer than the mean temperature for 30 years from 1991 to 2020, exceeding the previous record high logged in 1998 when the difference was 1.24 C. Temperature deviations and not actual temperatures are used to measure average temperatures.

A woman walks with a parasol as temperatures exceed 25C in Nagoya, central Japan, on April 20, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Japan was largely blanketed in warm air this spring, as westerlies that traveled further north than usual blocked cold air from moving southward, the agency said.

"These record high temperatures tend to be seen because of the progress in global warming," it said in a press release.

As temperatures started to rise in March this year, cherry trees in Tokyo came into bloom at the earliest time on record since observations began in 1953, matching records seen in 2020 and 2021, according to the agency.