The northern region of Asia is currently experiencing extremely low temperatures, with China seeing record-breaking lows and Japan preparing for blizzards. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the city of Mohe in northern China recorded a temperature of -53C (-64F) on Sunday, and the cold snap is expected to continue throughout the week. In addition, northern and western parts of Japan are expected to experience heavy snowfall through Thursday.
This colder-than-usual weather is set to continue until the end of the month, which could potentially lead to an increase in heating demand in major energy-importing countries such as China and Japan. However, the impact may be limited as factories in China are currently closed for the Lunar New Year holidays and Japan has a stock of liquefied natural gas to supply its power plants.
Officials in Mohe have increased the use of boilers to provide heating and hot water to homes, leading to a consumption of coal that is about one-third higher than normal. There have been no reports of power or fuel shortages.
Many areas of Japan are expected to see snow on Tuesday, and temperatures are predicted to drop below freezing in major cities including Tokyo, Nagoya, and Fukuoka on Wednesday. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has urged people to stay indoors during heavy snowfall and for drivers to take necessary precautions.
Both Japan Airlines and ANA Holdings have reported that flights may be delayed or canceled due to the weather on Tuesday and Wednesday, and railway operators have also warned of potential disruptions to schedules.
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