Japan braces for dangerous chill and heavy snowfall

himawari-9 2120z january 23 2023 f

Japan is bracing itself for a dangerous chill and heavy snowfall that is expected to hit the nation from Tuesday, January 24 to Thursday, January 26, 2023.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, a winter low pressure system is likely to cause very strong winds and storms over the next 2 days, leading to potential threats of frozen pipes, slippery roads, and traffic disruptions across the country.

The areas facing the Sea of Japan and much of the Pacific side of the archipelago are expected to be the most affected. The atmospheric low is predicted to develop near the Kuril Islands, northeast of Hokkaido, and east of Japan, bringing the coldest temperatures of the winter so far.1

On Tuesday, the Hokuriku region could see up to 100 cm (39 inches) of snowfall, while the Tohoku region may see up to 80 cm (31 inches) and the Kanto-Koshin, Kinki, and Chugoku regions could see up to 70 cm (27 inches) of snowfall in the 24 hours through Wednesday morning.

The agency also predicts a maximum wind speed of 83 km/h (51 mph) in Hokuriku, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku and Okinawa, and 72 km/h (45 mph) in the Kanto-Koshin area on Tuesday.

Temperatures nationwide are forecast to plunge to levels seen only once in a decade. On Wednesday, a low of -12 °C (10.4 °F) is forecast for the city of Sapporo, -6 °C (21.2 °F) for the cities of Sendai and Kumamoto, -4 °C (-24.8 °F) for the city of Kochi, and -2 °C (28.4 °F) for central Tokyo.2

With these weather conditions, it is important for citizens and travelers to take necessary precautions and stay updated on the weather forecast.

The Meteorological Agency urges the public to be vigilant against traffic disruptions caused by blizzards and snowdrifts.

It is also important to take precautions against frozen pipes and slippery roads to ensure safety during this cold spell — refrain from using vehicles unless it is urgent.

References:

1 Much of Japan to see heavy snow from Tuesday as winter storm arrives – The Japan Times – January 23, 2023

2 Bitter cold, heavy snow forecast for Japan – NHK – January 23, 2023

Featured image credit: JMA/Himawar-9, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers. Acquired at 21:20 UTC on January 23, 2023

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