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Thursday, 24th November 2016
In Weather In Japan,

November snowfall in Tokyo for the first time in 54 years

Japan’s capital city has experienced snowfall during the month of November for the first time in more than half a century.

The weather event occurred today (November 24th) in Tokyo and a number of other parts of eastern Japan, disrupting some elements of daily life.

Traffic was forced to adapt to the weather conditions and go at a slower rate, while demand for electricity in homes spiked, as residents noticed the cold spell.

Other modes of transport, such as trains, were also affected, with the East Japan Railway Co stating that trees laden with snow in the vicinity of the Ome and Chuo lines lead to suspended services.

Operators on the Seibu and Keio lines also admitted delays, as snow impeded the progress of trains.

At 10am local time, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) experienced a surge in electricity consumption to 95 per cent of supply capacity.

For the casual observer, it was also clear that temperatures had dropped to near zero, as everyone felt the need to wrap up against the unseasonably cold weather.

The snowfall, which began at 6.15am in central Tokyo, arrived 40 days earlier than the average in Japan’s main city.

Visitors to other eastern cities, such as Yokohama and Utsunomiya, did not miss out on the phenomenon, as they also saw flakes falling from the sky.

Experts believe that the arrival of snow in November was down to a front moving eastwards around the Izu Islands.

This caused a cold air mass with a temperature of minus three degrees C and an altitude of approximately 1,500 metres to make its way across the Kanto region, which is home to Tokyo.

Snow has not been recorded in Tokyo in November since 1962, with most flurries being small and usually arriving in January or February.

This latest snowfall is expected to stop by early afternoon, the Japanese Meteorological Agency predicts, having accumulated to two centimetres.

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