NAHA, Okinawa — The Japanese have a word for it: samui.

That means cold — bone-chilling cold. That’s what it’s been on Okinawa this past week.

A cold spell that dominated the island over the weekend set a March record for Okinawa. According to the Okinawa Meteorological Observatory, it was just 41.4 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday in Kunigami Village, at Hedo Point in Okinawa’s far north.

The reading was the lowest temperature recorded for March since local records first were kept in 1979, said an observatory weather forecaster.

In Naha, the lowest temperature was 48.2 degrees Sunday. For March, it was the coldest day in nine years and the tenth coldest since 1946, he said. And it felt even colder.

“With winds and rain, the temperature felt much lower than what was actually recorded,” the weather forecaster said. Naha’s coldest day on record was 43.9 degrees in February 1947 and January 1967.

The coldest temperature in central Okinawa last weekend was 46 degrees Sunday, said an 18th Weather Flight spokeswoman at Kadena Air Base.

Saturday, the meteorological observatory received a report that a resident in Sashiki, a village west of Naha, had seen hail. And an employee at a Higashi Village lodging facility said a family at the lodge reported seeing hail hitting the windows of their room Saturday night.

“The cold spell over the weekend was a result of a strong cold wave coming down from the North Pole,” said Tadashi Zamami, a senior weather forecaster at the observatory.

Zamami said the weekend’s cold snap should be the season’s last, although the temperature could dip to a mildly chilly 63 degrees next weekend after climbing as high as 71 degrees by midweek.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now