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Heavy snow feared nationwide through Jan. 23

Snow begins falling in the suburban Tokyo city of Hachioji at around 10:40 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2018. (Mainichi)

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) announced Jan. 22 that a developing low pressure system is expected to bring snow to wide areas spanning the western and northeastern regions of the country.

    The JMA is calling on the public to be cautious of traffic hazards such as frozen roads, as well as avalanches and build ups of snow.

    A low pressure front in the East China Sea is moving in an east-northeasterly direction, according to the JMA. It is predicted that the low pressure system will continue to develop as it travels along the Pacific side of western and eastern Japan, and pass over the Izu Islands on the night of Jan. 22.

    Snow begins falling in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward at around 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2018. (Mainichi)

    The same night, a separate low pressure system is expected to emerge over the Sea of Japan, developing rapidly as it moves in a northeasterly direction, closing in on areas facing the Sea of Japan in northern Japan by the night of Jan. 23. Gusts of cold air are expected to move into the skies above Japan on Jan. 23, creating a typical winter pressure pattern that will continue until around Jan. 27.

    Snow is expected in a broad area of western Japan through the evening of Jan. 22, and in eastern and northeastern Japan from shortly after noon on Jan. 22 through the wee hours of Jan. 23. Mountainous regions will experience heavy snowfall, as will some parts of the plains.

    Maximum snowfall expected in the 24-hour period ending at 6 a.m. on Jan. 23 is around 30 centimeters in the Kanto-Koshin and Tohoku regions, 20 centimeters in the Chugoku-Kinki, Tokai and Hokuriku regions, 15 centimeters in Shikoku, and 10 centimeters in northern Kyushu.

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