Japan to see average weather this summer, reiterates El Nino warning

Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is likely to see average weather this summer, the official forecaster said on Tuesday, reducing the risk of a potential spike in demand for electricity from customers cranking up their air conditioning.

Japan is currently nuclear free for just the third time in more than four decades, following the reactor meltdowns and radiation leaks at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi facility, requiring the country to rely heavily on fossil fuel-fired power plants.

Eastern Japan, including the most densely populated Tokyo area, will have a 40 percent chance of average temperatures between June and August, the Japan Meteorological Agency said in its summer forecast.

The weather bureau also reiterated a forecast made earlier this month that there is a 50 percent chance that an El Nino weather pattern could emerge this summer.

El Nino - a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific - affects wind patterns and can trigger both floods and drought in different parts of the globe, hitting production of key foods such as rice, wheat and sugar.

Japan's forecast echoes warnings by officials in both Australia and the United States of increased chances El Nino will strike this year.

The table below gives the temperature forecast for the coming months in terms of the percentage below average, average or above average, with Okinawa, Amami referring to those islands in southwestern Japan.

North Japan Below Ave. Above

June-Aug 40 40 20

Mar-May 30 40 30

March 40 30 30

April 30 40 30

May 30 40 30

East Japan Below Ave. Above

June-Aug 30 40 30

Mar-May 30 40 30

March 40 30 30

April 30 40 30

May 30 40 30

West Japan Below Ave. Above

June-Aug 20 40 40

Mar-May 30 40 30

March 30 40 30

April 30 40 30

May 30 40 30

Okinawa, Amami Below Ave. Above

June-Aug 20 40 40

Mar-May 40 40 20

March 40 40 20

April 40 40 20

May 30 40 30

(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi and James Topham; Editing by Ron Popeski and Joseph Radford)

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