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Blizzard warning issued for Hokkaido as 2 low pressure systems set to merge

In this file photo taken on Dec. 12, 2017, cars travel with their lights on in Hakodate, Hokkaido, amid a blizzard. Rapidly growing low pressure systems and cold air expected to blow into Hokkaido are forecasted to bring another blizzard to the prefecture from Dec. 25 to 27. (Mainichi)

SAPPORO -- Weather forecasters have warned of possible blizzards in Hokkaido from Dec. 25 to 27 because two rapidly developing low pressure systems approaching the area are set to merge and cold air will drift into the region.

    "In some areas, you won't be able to see right ahead of yourself because of blizzards," said an official of the Japan Weather Association's Hokkaido branch.

    According to the Sapporo District Meteorological Observatory, a low pressure system situated above the Sea of Japan and another located south of the Honshu main island will move northeastward off the Sanriku area in northeastern Honshu while growing rapidly, and join into one above the Sea of Okhotsk on the night of Dec. 25. The merged low pressure system will likely grow further above the Sea of Okhotsk the following day.

    The maximum instantaneous wind speed is forecasted to be 45 meters per second above the sea off Hokkaido and 35 meters on land in the prefecture. High waves up to 7 meters are expected in the Sea of Japan and the western part of the Pacific Ocean.

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