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Nippy weather soon to bid Okinawa farewell

Date Posted: 2006-03-17

Okinawans woke up shivering Monday, as a blast of frigid air swept across the southern islands.

The cold air mass from China sent temperatures plummeting into the low 50’s and 60’s.

Forecasters say the chilly air should begin drifting away from Okinawa in the next day or two. Islanders had thought the wintry weather was finished for 2006, and expressed surprise at the new round of cold.

“Oh not, It’s cold!” was the sentiment of many as they made their way to work Monday. Northern Okinawa saw temperatures of 11C (52F), while Sashiki was only fractionally warmer and Naha hit an un-balmy 13C (57F). Comparatively, it didn’t get any better in Okinawa’s southern reaches, where Miyako Island saw the mercury at only 14C (59F) and the most Yaeyama island group, Ishigaki, pegging at 15C (60F).

Officials are warning that this latest batch of cold weather is potentially dangerous, because the cold-warm, warm-cold, cold-cold cycle sends body temperatures out of control. Dressing warmly is advised, remembering not to overwork the body. Fishermen, divers and pleasure boaters are also cautioned to be heads up, listen to weather reports and dress warmly.

Forecasters say the winds will die down starting tomorrow, with sunny skies in the forecast for the weekend. Temperatures will remain slightly below normal.

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