For me a huge reason why I enjoy living in Tokyo is that winters are comfortable. The temperatures go during the cold season below a truly comfortable level – personally I prefer the range of 20-30 degrees Celsius – but I never have to deal with the long periods of grey sky and no sun, lots of snow that melts easily letting your feet feel inside the shoes like a ice block. For sure the Swiss winter I will never miss! Rather seldom it snows in Tokyo and yesterday evening looking outside felt like being in mid Advent waiting for the Holiday Season to start.
I truly enjoyed being inside, not being exposed to the weather and then suddenly a long, noisy explosion sound that seemed to much very much like a roar of a dragon! What happened? What kind of explosion could be? Looking outside of the window showed no difference to the usual, apart from lots of snow falling. Strange sound, but because I could not figure it out, I went back to work. “Wham” again, this time shorter and less intensive. I truly had no clue what is going on.
Later on talking to others, plus then on twitter from the wonderful twitter buddy “@kbrmct” I have learned that actually thunder can occur during snow storms. Moreover looking at the data provided by a nice Twitter buddy, I have learned that actually in Niigata (an area famous for lots of snow) more thunders occur in winter than in summer. Have a look at the graph below, which compared Niigata and Maebashi (city in Kanto area).
In blue Niigata shows the highest number of thunder in December and then Maebashi in the hot summer month of August. More details can be found under chapter 4 on this link from Niigata Local Meteorogical Observatory. For sure I had never expected to hear such a majestic dragon thunder in Tokyo in the winter. I guess it was just perfect timing for the Chinese New Year.
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (伊藤 シビル)