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Blizzard, heavy snow to continue in Hokkaido and other northern Japan regions

Deicing work is seen underway on a plane at New Chitose Airport in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, on Jan. 23, 2019. (Mainichi/Kenji Yoneda)

TOKYO -- Blizzards and heavy snow will continue to blanket northern Japan including the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido until late Jan. 24, and people in affected area should brace for traffic confusion due to the inclement weather and high waves at sea, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

The stormy weather continues as two strong low pressure systems, one west of Hokkaido heading south near the Oshima Peninsula, and the other developing near Nemuro in the eastern part of the prefecture.

Hokkaido will see high winds of 82.8 kilometers per hour (kph) with maximum gusts of 126 kph, while winds of 72kph with gusts of 108 kph are expected for northeastern Japan's Tohoku region. High waves of 6 meters for Hokkaido and 5 meters for Tohoku are forecast, the JMA said.

Expected maximum snowfall in the 24-hour period ending 6 a.m. on Jan 25 is 60 centimeters in Hokkaido and 40 centimeters in Tohoku. The snow will be wet and heavy, and local residents are warned of traffic paralysis and avalanches, according to the agency.

(The Mainichi)

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