Monday, January 16, 2017
Severe winter storm hits Japan
A major winter storm is affecting the Japanese archipelago Japan this week. The storm is producing typhoon-force winds and prolonged, intense sea-effect snow. Extreme amounts of snow have fallen in parts of Japan and claimed lives of at least 2 people. More than 40 were injured by Sunday morning UTC, January 15, 2017.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has issued warnings on snowstorms through Monday, January 16, 2017. It said snow will settle in plains along the Pacific through Sunday as strong cold air mass covers the archipelago.
Over a 24-hour period through Saturday morning, January 14, up to 70 cm (2.3 feet) of snow had fallen in Niigata, 52 cm (1.7 feet) in Nagano Prefecture and 46 cm (1.5 feet) in Toyama Prefecture, but it is important to understand that these values fell on top of the snow base that has already accumulated through the past several days. Okura and Aomori, for example, saw more than 2 m (6.6 feet) of snow by Friday while some ski resorts in Hokkaido reported nearly 3 m (9.8 feet). Up to 100 cm (3.28 feet) of snow was forecast to fall in the Hokuriku region through Sunday morning, 70 cm (2.3 feet) in Kanto-Koshin and Tokai, 60 cm (1.96 feet) in Kinki and Chugoku, 50 cm (1.64 feet) in Tohoku and 40 cm (1.31 feet) in Hokkaido.
These huge amounts of snow are brought by several days of intense sea-effect snowfall. "The winter weather setup dominating Japan this week usually lingers for 1 - 2 days at a time... rarely longer and not as potent as we are seeing this week," meteorologist Robert Speta of the NHK and WestPacWX said.
"This is thanks to a blocking high north of a low pressure area near Kamchatka. This is holding that low in place which in return forces it to continue to interact with the high pressure over China setting up a tight pressure gradient across the sea of Japan."
Credit to watchers.news