Fwd: + Cold Snap May Affect Tokyo, Osaka, Boost Power Demand (Update1)

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Cold Snap May Affect Tokyo, Osaka, Boost Power Demand (Update1)
2010-12-16 04:27:10.335 GMT

(Updates with comments from companies in seventh

By Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada
Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Japan is forecast to have colder
temperatures starting today as the weather patterns that caused
freezing conditions in the U.S. and Europe envelop the country,
boosting demand for gas and power from companies including Tokyo
Electric Power Co.
The temperature in central Tokyo may fall to 4 degrees
Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) tomorrow, from a low of 6.6
degrees yesterday, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
In Osaka, Japan's second-biggest urban center after Tokyo, a low
of 3 degrees is forecast for tomorrow and snow is expected in
other southwestern cities including Fukuoka today.
Airlines in the U.S. canceled more than 1,400 flights as
snowstorms hit the Midwest last week, after unusually cold
weather caused travel disruptions across Europe. Parts of Asia
may have colder-than-average temperatures as weather systems
move in from the arctic regions, said Kenji Kobayashi, a weather
forecaster at Japan's meteorological agency.
"Cold temperatures would be God's gift to Japan's
utilities," Reiji Ogino, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan
Stanley Securities Co. said. "Gas suppliers, in particular,
could benefit from stronger sales of gas for households, which
are more profitable than those for offices."
Companies that may have higher demand include Tokyo
Electric, Asia's biggest electricity company, Osaka Gas Co. and
Kansai Electric Power Co., Ogino said.

Meeting Demand

Tokyo Electric has enough capacity to meet any increases in
demand, spokesman Daisuke Hirose said. Kansai Electric doesn't
anticipate any problems meeting customer requirements, spokesman
Satoru Kawanishi said. Spokesmen at Tokyo Gas Co. and Osaka Gas
said they have enough supplies to meet contingencies.
Tokyo Electric expects profit to decline by 40 percent to
80 billion yen ($950 million) for the year ending March, it said
in October. Kansai Electric is expecting net income to fall by
19 percent to 103 billion yen profit for the year.
Tokyo Gas said in October net income will probably be 68
billion yen for the year, up 26 percent from a year earlier,
while Osaka Gas forecast a 7 percent fall in profit to 45
billion yen.
The jet stream, a high atmospheric wind band that blows
from west to east, is moving in an unusual pattern this year
causing the snowstorms that hit Europe and the U.S., said
Hisashi Nakamura, an atmospheric scientist at the University of

La Nina

The same conditions may produce a cold snap across Japan
till the end of December, said Nakamura, who correctly predicted
the heat waves in the country during the last summer.
A strong La Nina cycle is one of the causes of the moves in
the jet stream, Nakamura said.
La Nina is a phenomenon that involves the cooling of the
equatorial Pacific Ocean and occurs on average every three to
five years, usually lasting nine to 12 months, according to the
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"The meandering jet stream caused cold temperatures in
Europe from late November and in the U.S. last week," said
Shuhei Maeda, weather forecaster at the Japan Meteorological
Agency. "Next will be Japan."

For Related News and Information:
Top energy stories: ETOP <GO>
Top power news: PTOP <GO>
TOP Japan stories: TOP JN <GO>
Weather news: WEA <GO>

--Editors: Aaron Sheldrick, Jane Lee.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Tsuyoshi Inajima in Tokyo at +81-3-3201-2059 or
Yuji Okada in Tokyo at +81-3-3201-2493 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Amit Prakash in Singapore at +65-6212-1167 or