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Larisa Herrin and her children Leneah, 4, at right, and Shaylee, 3, work on a snowman at Sasebo Naval Base.
Larisa Herrin and her children Leneah, 4, at right, and Shaylee, 3, work on a snowman at Sasebo Naval Base. (Greg Tyler / S&S)
Larisa Herrin and her children Leneah, 4, at right, and Shaylee, 3, work on a snowman at Sasebo Naval Base.
Larisa Herrin and her children Leneah, 4, at right, and Shaylee, 3, work on a snowman at Sasebo Naval Base. (Greg Tyler / S&S)
Children enjoy a snowball fight Thursday outside of Ernest J. King High School at Sasebo Naval Base. The base was closed Thursday as a result of the uncommon snow accumulation.
Children enjoy a snowball fight Thursday outside of Ernest J. King High School at Sasebo Naval Base. The base was closed Thursday as a result of the uncommon snow accumulation. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — An overnight snowfall accumulation gave at least a glimpse of a white Christmas on Thursday morning to personnel here and at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.

But the blanket of about 1 inch of snow in Sasebo and a little more than 2 inches in Iwakuni melted rapidly by the afternoon.

Both bases were closed most of the day to all but essential personnel.

About half of Sasebo’s personnel live off base, many in higher elevations that received potentially hazardous accumulations of 3 to 5 inches.

Children, as well as a few adults, sharpened their snowman-building skills, while around Ernest J. King High and Sasebo Elementary schools a few lighthearted snowball battles took place through the morning.

“I can’t believe so many people are just sitting in their homes complaining about how cold it is,” said Mary Lou Vazquez, a Boston resident visiting sister Ruth Donahue in Sasebo.

“It’s just not that cold to me compared to Boston,” she said while strolling through the base housing area. “I’m going downtown to walk around and see what’s open today and what’s going on.”

The Nishi-Kyushu Expressway was closed to all traffic Thursday morning and reopened later in the afternoon.

Interaction between a high-pressure system over eastern Asia and a strong low-pressure system moving northeast over central Honshu led to the snowfall Wednesday night through about noon Thursday, according to Sasebo’s Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Detachment forecasters

Weather forecasters at both bases predicted no additional snow Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

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