Athletes and others involved in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo face punishing heat and the prospect of a wind-driven deluge as the games come to a close over the next several days. Japan is slogging through its most extreme heat of the summer while a tropical storm may pass very close to Tokyo this weekend.

Oppressive heat and humidity smothered Tokyo on Wednesday, “torturing the Olympians and volunteers,” tweeted Sayaka Mori, a local meteorologist. The brutal combination made it feel like 109 degrees during the afternoon.

Thursday and Friday are predicted to be just as hot, if not hotter.

Relief from the heat arrives this weekend, but that’s when the Joint Typhoon Warning Center predicts a tropical storm may barrel toward the region.

As of Thursday morning local time, a tropical depression had developed near Kadena Air Base in Japan’s far southern prefecture of Okinawa, nearly 950 miles southwest of Tokyo. Its peak winds were 35 mph.

The center’s forecast calls for the depression to strengthen into a tropical storm later Thursday as it travels northeastward. By Saturday, it will be parallel to Japan’s mainland of Honshu over the ocean, making its closest approach to Tokyo on Sunday. The center says a “favorable environment will fuel steady intensification” and predicts peak winds of 65 mph when in Tokyo’s vicinity. However, it cautions confidence in the track and intensity forecast are low.

It’s possible that the storm remains offshore with minimal impacts for mainland Japan. But if the storm stays near the center of the current projected track, it could bring torrential rain and damaging winds to Tokyo between Saturday and Sunday night. writes that the storm could cut the women’s golf event from 72 to 54 holes because the final round is scheduled for Saturday, when rain could begin. All Olympic competitions need to be finished by 8 p.m. local time Sunday, and the storminess could linger through that time.

The opening 18 holes of the women’s golf event were played amid Wednesday’s excessive heat. Jack Fulghum, caddie for golfer Lexi Thompson, withdrew after 15 holes. “I am about to pass out,” he told Thompson, NBCMiami wrote, before being helped off the course. Another caddie was rushed to the hospital because of heat stroke, reported.

Weather also plagued the Olympics opening week when Tropical Storm Nepartak, which merely grazed Tokyo, forced schedule adjustments for archery, rowing and sailing.

Then, after the storm passed, excessive heat became problematic.

Daniil Medvedev, the world’s No. 2 tennis player, struggled with the heat during a match July 28. “I can finish the match, but I can die,” he told chair umpire Carlos Ramos. Medvedev subsequently managed to withstand the temperatures and won his match

But “Spanish player Paula Badosa was less fortunate,” reported. “She left the court in a wheelchair … because of heatstroke.”

Reuters reported that through Sunday, 30 people involved in the Olympics had suffered from heat-related illnesses.

The Olympics have coincided with the hottest time of year in Tokyo, and the heat through Friday is anticipated to be the most intense of the games. NBCMiami reported that the Swedish and Canadian women’s soccer teams requested that Friday’s gold medal match be rescheduled from the middle of the day.

The punishing heat comes as a massive ridge of high pressure over the northern central Pacific or “heat dome” flexes southwestward. For more than a week this heat dome has brought record high temperatures to Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, and generated an “exceptionalmarine heat wave over the Pacific. While it has only now extended over Honshu, it ranks among Hokkaido’s longest-lasting and most intense heat events ever observed.

Tokyo was a controversial choice to host the games because of its hot and humid conditions, which have been made worse by climate change. July and August average temperatures have warmed by 2.7 degrees in Tokyo since 1964, the last time the Olympics were held there, according to Climate Central, a science communications firm.