Japan is located at the northeastern edge of the Asian monsoon climate belt, which brings much rain to the country. The weather is under the dual influence of the Siberian weather system and the patterns of the southern Pacific; it is affected by the Japan Current (Kuroshio), a warm stream that flows from the southern Pacific along much of Japan's Pacific coast, producing a milder and more temperate climate than is found at comparable latitudes elsewhere. Northern Japan is affected by the Kuril Current (Oyashio), a cold stream flowing along the eastern coasts of Hokkaido and northern Honshu. The junction of the two currents is a bountiful fishing area. The Tsushima Current, an offshoot of the Japan Current, transports warm water northward into the Sea of Japan / East Sea.
Throughout the year, there is fairly high humidity, with average rainfall ranging by area from 100 cm to over 250 cm (39–98 in). Autumn weather is usually clear and bright. Winters tend to be warmer than in similar latitudes except in the north and west, where snowfalls are frequent and heavy. Spring is usually pleasant, and the summer hot and humid. There is a rainy season that moves from south to north during June and July.
Average temperature ranges from 17° C (63° F ) in the southern portions to 9° C (48° F ) in the extreme north. Hokkaido has long and severe winters with extensive snow, while the remainder of the country enjoys milder weather down to the southern regions, which are almost subtropical. The Ryukyus, although located in the temperate zone, are warmed by the Japan Current, giving them a subtropical climate. The typhoon season runs from May through October, and each year several storms usually sweep through the islands, often accompanied by high winds and heavy rains.