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Severe weather conditions, up to 2 m (6.5 feet) of fresh snow through New Year’s Day, Japan


The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued warnings for blizzards, high waves, and freezing temperatures as a potent winter storm pressure system continues affecting the country, mainly areas along the Sea of Japan through New Year's Day. The storm could remain over Japan until January 2 — potentially affecting facilities and transport systems.

Up to 2 m (6.5 feet) of snow is expected in the affected region and temperatures down to -12 °C (10.4 °F) in some places — about 10 °C (18 °F) below average for the time of the year.

90 cm (2.9 feet) of snow is expected in the Hokuriku region along the Sea of Japan in the 24 hours ending at 18:00 LT on December 31.

80 cm (2.6 feet) in Kinki and Chugoku regions, 60 cm (1.9 feet) in Tohoku region, and 50 cm (1.6 feet) across Hokkaido region, the Kanto-Koshin, and Tokai.

Image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA, TW.

Image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA, TW.

Acquired 05:00 UTC on December 31, 2020

In the following 24-hour period, the Hokuriku region is expecting another 80 – 120 cm (2.6 – 3.9 feet), Tohoku region 60 – 80 cm (1.9 – 2.6 feet), Tokai and Kinki 50 – 70 cm (1.6 – 2.3 feet), and Kanto-Koshin and Hokkaido regions 30 – 50 cm (1 – 1.6 feet).

This amounts to more than 2 m (6.5 feet) of snow in Hokuriku and up to 1.5 m (4.9 feet) in Kinki and Tohoku through January 1. However, much more can be expected over the next 10 days.

JMA warned the weather could affect traffic and facilities. 

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways said they have canceled 81 and 28 domestic flights on Friday, January 1, respectively.

East Japan Railway decided to suspend part of its Shinkansen bullet train service in Yamagata Prefecture from 18:00 LT on Thursday, December 31 through Friday, the Mainichi reports.

Featured image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA, TW


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