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 Record cold in Japan 
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Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:32 pm
Posts: 431
Location: Fukuoka, Japan
Post Record cold in Japan
You may have seen the news stories about the record cold in Tokyo, which recently had a foot of snow.
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/tokyo-experiences-coldest-day-in-nearly-half-a-century-9895278

Although Fukuoka had a pretty serious freeze in January 2016, the winter of 2016-2017 was quite mild.

Fast forward to this winter and, although not as severe as in Tokyo, we have had consistently cold weather all through January and it seems set to continue for at least another week. So far the worst lows we are seeing here in the city are around -1C but with such sustained cold I worry that there will be a momentum effect and a bad radiational freeze at some point. We’re having a difficult time keeping our poorly insulated old Japanese house warm enough and winter is quickly wearing out its welcome! Fingers crossed that February will be milder!


Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:01 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:59 pm
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Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
Bad one Scott at least our houses here in the UK are fairly well insulated so even though we go much lower than you the house at least stays warm.

Snow looks quite picturesque on plants in our garden but after a couple of days it gets boring and you want it to disappear.
Do you have anything in your garden that is at risk to the cold you are having?


Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:04 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:32 pm
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Location: Brighton Sussex uk
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
I read this thread and thought, 'that's not cold?' I get that here..... but it is if you aren't used to it.
A local I talked to in Mexico commented on his recent cold winter, where temps dropped to 16c :roll: As I said, all depends what your're used to


Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:16 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:52 pm
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Location: Hayward- S.F. Bay area Ca.
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
Be careful with space heaters..those things are so dangerous. One thing about Japan is ( I think) that all the turnover keeps homes up to modern electrical wiring. To you "old Japanese home" might mean- 1980's?...so no chance of cloth electrical wring still sputtering someplace in the home. Kev,does electrical work- what he must see in 50 year old homes plus :shock:


Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:50 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:59 pm
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Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
Stan wrote:
Be careful with space heaters..those things are so dangerous. One thing about Japan is ( I think) that all the turnover keeps homes up to modern electrical wiring. To you "old Japanese home" might mean- 1980's?...so no chance of cloth electrical wring still sputtering someplace in the home. Kev,does electrical work- what he must see in 50 year old homes plus :shock:



Lol today



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Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:16 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:20 pm
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Location: Kyushu, Southern Japan (33.607N latitude)
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
Hey Scott, my plants certainly aren't enjoying it either. It also makes the 12 km bike ride to work more "interesting". Don't even get me started about the influenza epidemic sweeping the schools... war-zone conditions!

Stan, old houses here are heated using heat pumps which work well for single rooms. Another common option is a unvented kerosene heater, again only good for one room. Another option is to cower under little square low tables with a small heating unit underneath. The idea is to put your legs under the table and cover the whole thing with a blanket to create a little heat pocket. Then you can sit there and read a book, watch TV or have dinner. Sounds sensible, right? Oh, PLEASE DON'T get me thinking about the wiring my house! It must be an absolute nightmare.

Gary, try this: turn off your heat for a week and see if you feel warm still.

Outside now around -1 C, inside my kitchen and the rest of the house 2.5 C, and in the bedroom now a balmy 19 C due to the kerosene heater. Living in an old Japanese house is much like camping in a large wooden and glass tent.

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Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:59 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:32 pm
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Location: Fukuoka, Japan
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
Kev Spence wrote:
Do you have anything in your garden that is at risk to the cold you are having?


I lost my 2 Cyathea lepifera, my Cyathea spinulosa, my Cyathea dealbata and a tender species of bird nest fern in the big 2016 freeze. All that’s left is Platycerium bifurcatum, which I can bring inside if needed, Cyathea medullaris, and Cyathea cooperi, both of which are pretty huge now. I’ve been sick a lot this January, just started another cold yesterday, so I don’t know if I’ll do much to protect them if a hard freeze comes. I might just cross my fingers that it’s short.

Like Tom I don’t want to think too much about the wiring in my old (1970s) house. Some was replaced when we remodeled.

Also like Tom said, when the cold is this sustained, most of the House is like an ice box. You tend to just hunker down in the one or two heated rooms until it passes, which this time seems to be forever.
I know weeks of highs in the 30s/40sF (0-9C) don’t seem like a big deal to people living in genuinely cold climates but unless you’re wealthy and have a properly insulated newer home, the living accommodations here make getting through these spells tough. Normally I do pretty well but I guess with the repeated colds and the lack of any nice days to thaw out I just wanted a whinge!


Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:15 am
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Location: Fukuoka, Japan
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
garytheflounder wrote:
I read this thread and thought, 'that's not cold?' I get that here..... but it is if you aren't used to it.
A local I talked to in Mexico commented on his recent cold winter, where temps dropped to 16c :roll: As I said, all depends what your're used to


I’m perfectly happy hiking through knee deep snow in the mountains with subzero temperatures, and do so regularly. It’s not being outside in the cold, it’s being INSIDE in the cold :mrgreen:


Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:02 am
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Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:46 pm
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Location: Maastricht Netherlands
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
You now have the winter weather that we have had so far and call it very spleen, normally it can freeze here to -15ºC fortunately not the last 5 years!

Now part of the tree ferns are left unprotected all winter, up to now -2ºC with snow.
Until now they are still beautiful.

keeping warm indoors costs a lot here too, my house is from 1926 :wink:

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2017 min. -08.1ºC --- max. 34.7ºC
2018 min. -07.6ºC --- max. 13.5ºC


Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:12 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:32 pm
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Location: Fukuoka, Japan
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
I don’t know if this is the “coldest” January but it’s definitely the least warm in a very long time.
https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/RJFF/2018/1/31/MonthlyHistory.html?req_city=&req_state=&req_statename=&reqdb.zip=&reqdb.magic=&reqdb.wmo=

January 2018 had the fewest days in Fukuoka with high above 10C/50F in the 20 year wunderground record and who knows how much further back. I knew it wasn’t my imagination!


Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:05 am
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Location: Hayward- S.F. Bay area Ca.
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
We are blasting warm records even in the bay area. Hayward today according to various websites was 77-79F on Feb,2nd. That smashes the old 73F set in the 1976 drought years. Only,in the 21st century we have had three ( in total) average rain years in a row. I can hardly explain how nice it was to feel near 27C (80F) breezes in February.
Some "GOTE" plants of mine today.

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Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:00 am
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Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:32 pm
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Location: Fukuoka, Japan
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
Stan wrote:
We are blasting warm records even in the bay area. Hayward today according to various websites was 77-79F on Feb,2nd. That smashes the old 73F set in the 1976 drought years. Only,in the 21st century we have had three ( in total) average rain years in a row. I can hardly explain how nice it was to feel near 27C (80F) breezes in February.
Some "GOTE" plants of mine today.


We spent 2 weeks around Christmas in West Texas and experienced that heat firsthand. Since then I’ve been marveling at how stubborn the heat in the west and cold in the east has been. I really hope it clears out soon!

Your plants look happy at least. I’m happy that although we haven’t had any warmth, the worst nights so far have only been down to -1C or so. All the plants seem to basically be in suspended animation...


Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:15 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:59 pm
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Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
Looking good Stan 80f , a little envious, even the Canary Isles 4.5hrs south of the UK are only 18c/ 64f.

Here around 3c every morning with -4c forecast next week Scott but we do have heating in the house......... our cellar strangely stays at 12c winter and summer


Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:39 am
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Location: Kyushu, Southern Japan (33.607N latitude)
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
Stan, sounds nice having temperatures above 20 C. Kev, when my house hits 12 degrees I feel "warm", so I guess I'd be happy living in your basement!

This week's forecast for Fukuoka City in this link. Here it always runs a degree or so less, so temperatures around freezing the next three days and on and off snow as well. OH JOY! http://www.jma.go.jp/en/week/346.html

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Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:09 am
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Location: Hayward- S.F. Bay area Ca.
Post Re: Record cold in Japan
Yesterday was the warmest ever February day in Haytown,81f (27.2C) On the third too. I sense a really good mood in the bay area. We cant be blamed if it doesn't rain..so enjoy what we are given in the meantime. People get tired of drought guilt. I do!


Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:08 pm
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