Japan braces for heavy snow, blizzard

Japanese weather officials warned on Monday that the coldest air mass of the season is likely to lead to heavy snow blanketing wide swathes of Japan from Tuesday.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said that an ultra-cold air mass flowing into western and eastern Japan between Tuesday and Thursday could bring disruptions to traffic as a result of the heavy snowfall and blizzards, reports Xinhua news agency.

The agency has urged drivers to be vigilant in the snowy conditions, as well as people in general to prepare for the heavy snow and cold temperatures as soon as possible.

Water pipes could freeze and there could be power outages, the JMA said, adding that people living in areas where heavy snow is expected should stay indoors, if possible, rather than venturing outside.

Areas facing the Sea of Japan coast from northern to western Japan are expected to see heavy snow and snowstorms from Tuesday to Thursday, the weather agency said.

In the 24 hours through Wednesday morning, areas in central Japan could expect up to 100 cm of snowfall, with winds in some regions topping 82 km per hour, the JMA added.

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