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Victoria Carpenter, 11, created a snowball to counteract anything in her friends' arsenal during last week's snowy weather at Sasebo.
Victoria Carpenter, 11, created a snowball to counteract anything in her friends' arsenal during last week's snowy weather at Sasebo. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Personnel stationed at this Navy base on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu were treated to what forecasters called unusual snow fall during the past week.

Sasebo residents were blanketed with six straight days of snow beginning Jan. 21 and lasting through early Monday.

“It’s over, finally,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Kawczk, a forecaster with the base’s Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Detachment, who called the week’s 4-inch accumulation an “extremely rare,” occassion.

The Nagasaki area’s record for one continuous snowfall is 5.2 inches in 1956, said forecaster Shigenari Arakawa from the Nagasaki Meteorological Observatory, which monitors weather in Nagasaki, 40 miles from Sasebo.

“We have a cold spell something like this, once or twice every year,” said Arakawa. In more recent years, the most significant snowfall tallied 4.8 inches on Jan. 15, 2001.

Sasebo averages 14 days of snowfall throughout the year but most is insignificant — and seldom accumulates, Kawczk said.

Except in higher elevations, most of the snow and ice had melted by Monday morning.

Record seasonal snowfall for Nagasaki is 18 inches set in 1963, followed by 10.8 inches in 1968 and 10.4 inches in 1959, according to Arakawa. Last week’s accumulation was this season’s first significant snowfall.

Wednesday’s forecast called for mostly cloudy with a high of 45 degrees and a low of 38 degrees. No more snow is expected through the weekend, forecasters said.

Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.

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