A strong storm system dropped feet of snow in the past few days in parts of Japan, leading to transportation problems which caused three deaths in separate traffic related incidents. The snowstorm has caused widespread damage to life and property. The snowstorm has dumped up to 38 inches of snow, due to which dozens of cars have been buried under thick snow. Around 300 flights including international flights in two airports were canceled. Blizzard warnings were issued in 11 out of 47 prefectures on Wednesday.
The storm system intensified as it moved up the pacific coast of Japan before stalling near the eastern tip of Hokkaido. Relief from the storm is not expected soon as there is a huge cold air mass blowing from Siberia behind this storm system. So, there are multiple bands of snow in that region of Japan. Strong winds of speeds of 126 Kmph were recorded in some areas. These strong winds created high waves along the sea coast. The winds were strong enough to topple moving trucks and it was very dangerous to go out. The visibility in Hokkaido was close to zero because of the blizzard.
There were two low pressure systems in the area which combined to make a strong low pressure area on Wednesday evening with atmospheric pressure as low as 956 millibars. The system will remain very active on Thursday also.
The situation is likely to remain the same for the next 24-48 hours. More snow and strong winds/ blizzards are expected.