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Tokyo sees first November snow in 54 years

東京十一月雪 五十四年來首見

Tokyo was hit by snow Thursday last week at 6:15 in the morning. Soon after the snow began falling, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) announced the first snow of the season had been observed in downtown Tokyo, adding that it was the first November snow in the city in 54 years.

According to the JMA, a strong cold air mass advancing southward through the Kanto region and a low pressure system off the southern coast had caused snow to begin falling in the plains and mountains from Wednesday night to Thursday afternoon last week.

The snowfall was the result of a split polar vortex, similar to the weather pattern which led to the cold snap that hit Taiwan in January. However, this time, the cold wave will remain in the north and therefore have no effect on Taiwan.

The cold snap which hit Taiwan in late January sent the island’s temperature plummeting, even leading to snowfall in Taipei. Experts who analyzed the unusual temperature drop said it had been caused by arctic oscillation, as similar anomalies were also observed in north Europe, the US and other parts of Asia.