Snow fell in areas of northern and western Japan facing the Sea of Japan as a cold air mass flowed into the archipelago Tuesday, with flights canceled and the weather agency warning of heavy snow in other areas and traffic disruption due to frozen roads.
Wide areas of the country, including the Pacific side, could see heavy snowfall from Tuesday evening to Wednesday, as a low pressure system near Hokkaido and southern Japan will bring the coldest air of this winter, making atmospheric conditions extremely unstable, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
As the strong winter patterns are expected to take hold through Thursday, some parts of the country could see their lowest temperatures in a decade, leading to a possibility of snowfall in Tokyo and Osaka, the agency said.
The cold temperature could cause water pipes to freeze and make road surfaces icy.
Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. canceled more than 120 flights to and from airports facing the Sea of Japan.
At JR Aomori Station in the northeastern prefecture of Aomori, a 43-year-old company employee who was on a business trip from neighboring Iwate, said, “I will be careful of unexpected road closures and act quickly.”
In the city of Kagoshima in southwestern Japan, it rained in the morning but snow is expected later in the day. A 47-year-old businesswoman heading to work said, “I am worried if I can get home tonight.”
In the 24 hours through Wednesday 6 a.m., the Hokuriku region in central Japan could see up to 90 centimeters of snowfall, while there may be up to 70 cm in Kanto-Koshin in eastern and central Japan and the Kinki and Chugoku regions in western Japan.
Up to 60 cm of snow is expected in northeastern Tohoku and central Tokai regions, the agency said.
© Kyodo News International, Inc., source Newswire