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Blizzard forecast to cause major disruptions in northern Japan

This image from the Japan Meteorological Agency website shows areas with weather warnings as of 10:58 a.m. on Dec. 3, 2019.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is warning residents in northern Japan to brace for a blizzard through Dec. 4, which is expected to bring violent winds, heavy snow, high tides and traffic disruptions.

The rapidly growing low atmospheric pressure is traveling northward and a high pressure system is hanging over western Japan as Japan is covered in a winter pressure pattern. The low atmospheric pressure is expected to remain in the Sea of Okhotsk area in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido through Dec. 4, causing violent winds with snow falling mainly on the Sea of Japan side in wider northern Japan.

A maximum wind speed of up to 23 meters per second (82.8 kilometers per hour), with a maximum instantaneous wind speed of 35/s (126kph), are expected both on Dec. 3 and 4.

Meanwhile, 50 centimeters of snow in Hokkaido and 30 centimeters of snow in the Tohoku region are expected to fall over the 24-hour period through 6 a.m. on Dec. 4. The JMA is calling for caution over traffic disruptions due to the blizzard.


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