Snow fell unusually early in Tokyo and surrounding areas on Thursday, affected by a strong cold air mass. Central Tokyo marked its first snowfall in November in 54 years.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency says a cold air mass of below minus 3 degrees Celsius is hovering about 1,500 meters above the northern and eastern parts of Japan.
Such a strong cold air mass is usually observed in mid-winter.
As of Thursday noon, the cities of Hachioji and Kiyose, both in the western suburbs of Tokyo, had 6 centimeters of snow. Central Tokyo had one centimeter of snow, its first accumulation of snow in November since record-taking began in 1875.
The Tokyo Fire Department says 6 people in Tokyo have been injured from slipping in the snow. In areas around Tokyo, 8 people have been reported injured.
The snow has caused delays and suspensions to train services in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
The cold weather has also led to a jump in demand for electricity for heating. Tokyo Electric Power Company says power consumption in areas its services, including Tokyo, has topped 90 percent of capacity. It is asking businesses and homes to save power where possible.
Source and image: NHK