KJ200701: Winter in Japan (1/2)

Winter in Japan : Most of the islands that make up the country of Japan fall in the temperate zone. Long, narrow mountain ranges in both the north and south mean that regions may have widely variant climate patterns. At no time of year is this more obvious than in winter.

For example, last year saw a hard winter for Niigata, Akita, Yamagata, and other areas on the Sea of Japan coast. Heavy snowfalls caused a number of deaths, the collapse of several buildings, and extensive other damage. Compare that with Kagawa, where cities outside of the mountains saw hardly any snowfall at all.
High atmospheric pressure around Siberia combines with seasonal winds from the northwest to bring cold weather to Japan. These winds dump significant amounts of snow on the Sea of Japan coast, and cause the “karakkaze”, or “dry wind”, when they pass the mountains to blow on the Pacific Coast. This, in turn, means that prefectures on this coast have a good number of fair weather days. Provinces within the Setouchi region(such as chuugoku and Shikoku) are blessed with comparatively mild winters because of the presence of oceans to both the north and south. However, westerly winds can become particularly severe at times. The Seto Oohashi Bridge, located as it is high above the open water, has nothing to protect it during these blasts, and there are times when it gets bad enough that traffic must be stopped. Because winter air is particularly dry, we must be extra careful when using fire during this season.


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This page was written by i-pal for 1, 2007 1:47 .

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