Heavy snow falling along Sea of Japan coast


Japanese weather officials are warning of possible traffic disruptions and power outages as heavy snow continues falling mainly along the Sea of Japan coast.

The Meteorological Agency says snowfall is intensifying on Saturday due to a strong winter pressure pattern and the emergence of a cold air mass.

The snow is also accumulating. As of 11 a.m., up to 63 centimeters of snow had piled up in Minakami Town, Gunma Prefecture, 55 centimeters in Shinano Town, Nagano Prefecture, and 52 centimeters in the city of Sapporo, Hokkaido.

The snowfall is expected to peak in the afternoon. But intermittent snow is forecast through Sunday for areas facing the Sea of Japan.

Expected snowfall during the 24-hour period through Sunday morning is up to 60 centimeters in Hokkaido, 50 centimeters in Niigata Prefecture, 40 centimeters in the Tohoku and Kansai regions and in Gifu Prefecture, 35 centimeters in the Hokuriku region, and 30 centimeters in the regions of Kanto-koshinetsu and Chugoku.

Strong winds are also expected to continue hitting northern Japan. Weather officials are warning of possible strong swells.

The heavy snow had forced Japanese airlines to cancel 14 domestic flights as of 4 a.m. Saturday.

With information from www3.nhk.or.jp

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