East Japan Earthquake    March 11, 2011

Japan Survivors Face Harsh, Wintry Weather

March 16, 2011

If the trauma of going through a horrific earthquake and tsunami were not enough, survivors in Japan waiting in rubble to be rescued amid fears of radioactive exposure will have to continue enduring harsh cold, blustery winds and snow over the next few days.

Snow fell across much of northern Japan, including quake- and tsunami-ravaged areas, Tuesday night into Wednesday local time. This includes hard-hit Sendai.

The harsh wintry weather poses added threats to the health of people already in a fragile state.

The zone worst-affected by the earthquake and tsunami has a similar latitude to the Delmarva Peninsula of the U.S., with Sendai being comparable to Ocean City, Md. The climate of this zone, however, is actually more similar to areas farther north along the East Coast of the U.S., such as Islip, N.Y., or Boston, Mass.

Average high temperatures this time of year in Sendai are in the upper 40s, while nighttime temperatures typically fall into the low 30s.

This week, however, cold, blustery winds out of the west-northwest will keep temperatures below normal in the wake of a storm system through Thursday. Snow showers and flurries will also continue affecting the area through Thursday as well, according to AccuWeather.com International Expert Meteorologist Jim Andrews.

High temperatures are forecast to be in the low 40s in Sendai with nighttime lows in the low 30s. Andrews pointed out, it will feel like temperatures are at or below freezing most of the time over the next couple of days.

Gusty winds, generally out of the northwest, at 15-30 mph will make conditions even worse for survivors and rescue workers. AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures, which provide a measure of how cold it feels with the wind factored in, are expected to drop down into the teens Wednesday night and Thursday night.

The winds will also govern where any additional radiation potentially released from Japan's troubled nuclear power plants will travel.

The cold, windy conditions will start to let up Friday with a bigger rebound in temperatures following over the weekend. Highs in the mid- to upper 50s are forecast Saturday and Sunday.

A storm system set to cross Japan late this weekend into early next week will bring prospects for rain to the earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged areas. While rain from this system could arrive as early as Saturday, chances are higher Sunday into Monday. (AccuWeather)

A storm bringing cold rain and even snow posing extra challenges to earthquake and tsunami victims as well as rescue crews in Japan this week.


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