TOKYO Japan has had the warmest winter ever and
central Tokyo has seen no snow so far -- the first time since
records began, the official weather forecaster said on Friday.
"We have never seen a year without snow in the central
Tokyo area. We started taking snow records in 1877," an
official with Japan's Meteorological Agency said. "If central
Tokyo does not see snow before long, it will be for the first
time since then."
The agency said nationwide average temperatures for the
three months from December 2006 to February 2007 matched the
previous highs in the December 1948-February 1949 period. It
started recording nationwide average temperatures in 1899.
"Behind the record high temperature in the 2007 winter in
Japan, there might be an impact of global warming due to an
increase in (emissions of) greenhouse gases such as carbon
dioxide," the agency said on its Web site.
Northern Japan, where skiers are used to see mountains
packed high with snow, had just a light sprinkling this winter.
Temperatures are likely to stay normal or higher than usual
next week in most of Japan and then might drop to normal March
levels the following week, the agency forecast.