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January 2016 East Asia cold wave (Topic)

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In late January 2016, a cold wave struck much of East Asia, parts of mainland Southeast Asia and parts of northern South Asia, bringing record cold temperatures and snowfall to many regions. Sleet was reported in Okinawa for the first time on record, and many other regions saw their coldest temperatures in decades. Snowfall and frigid weather stranded thousands of people across four countries. At least 85 people in Taiwan died from hypothermia and cardiac arrest following a sudden drop in temperature during the weekend of January 22–24. The cold claimed a further fourteen lives in Thailand, and snowstorms resulted in six deaths across Japan. This event was driven by a fast Arctic warming that occurred within the troposphere, forcing the Arctic Oscillation to change phase rapidly from positive (in late December) to negative (in late January), facilitating the atmospheric blocking and associated Siberian high buildup.

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