Japan to see milder to normal weather this winter

Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:17am EDT

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TOKYO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Japan will see mostly milder to
normal weather this winter, potentially decreasing demand for
electricity and kerosene for heating, official forecaster the
Japan Meteorological Agency said on Tuesday.
    Japan managed to avoid a power shortage this summer despite
a prolonged heat wave extending to this month, thanks to
power-saving efforts at a time when most nuclear reactors remain
shut following last year's earthquake and tsunami. The disaster
wrecked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant 240 km (150 miles)
north of Tokyo, triggering radiation leaks that caused
widespread contamination.
    Power supplies could be stretched this winter in the
northern prefecture of Hokkaido, where the cold could be more
severe than usual. Hokkaido Electric Power Co has said
it expects power supply to barely outstrip projected peak winter
demand as none of its three reactors is operating amid public
anxiety about nuclear safety.
    Only two of Japan's 50 commercial reactors are currently
operating, and no more are likely to resume until next summer at
the earliest.
    Eastern Japan, including the most densely populated Tokyo 
area, h as a 40 percent chance each of higher-than-average and
average t emperatures between December and February, the weather
agency said in its first winter forecast.
    The following table gives the temperature forecast for
coming months in terms of the percentage below average, average
or above average (previous forecasts in parentheses). Okinawa,
Amami refers to those islands in southwestern Japan.
    
    North Japan    Below     Ave.    Above
        Dec-Feb       30       40       30
        Oct-Dec       40       30       30
            Oct   30(40)   40(30)   30(30)
            Nov   40(30)   40(40)   20(30)
           Dec        30       40       30
     East Japan    Below     Ave.    Above
        Dec-Feb       20       40       40
        Oct-Dec       30       40       30
            Oct   30(40)   30(30)   40(30)
            Nov   40(30)   30(30)   30(40)
           Dec        30       30       40
     West Japan    Below     Ave.    Above
        Dec-Feb       20       40       40
        Oct-Dec       30       30       40
            Oct   30(40)   30(30)   40(30)
            Nov   30(20)   40(40)   30(40)
           Dec        20       40       40
 Okinawa, Amami    Below     Ave.    Above
        Dec-Feb       20       40       40
        Oct-Dec       20       40       40
            Oct   30(30)   30(40)   40(30)
            Nov   20(20)   40(40)   40(40)
           Dec        20       40       40
 
 (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori and Risa Maeda; Editing by
Chang-Ran Kim)
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