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Powerful Japan Snowstorm May Halt Travel in Tokyo

By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
February 09, 2014, 1:09:27 AM EST

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A storm system currently bringing rain to eastern China and Taiwan will strengthen as it tracks northeast in the coming days.

The strengthening of the storm system will continue as it tracks just east of Japan Saturday and Sunday.

Rainfall will reach the coasts of Kyushu and Shikoku on Friday then spread through southeastern Honshu Friday night. Inland and mountainous areas of both Kyushu and Shikoku will begin as a mix of rain and snow that will change to all snow rather quickly after the precipitation begins. All of the inland areas of Honshu will see heavy snow.


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On Saturday, a mix of heavy snow and rain will occur across the coasts of southern Honshu and Shikoku while heavy snow falls in the higher elevations to the north. The Kanto Plain, which includes the city of Tokyo, can expect as much as 15-30 cm (6-12 inches) of snow, with much higher amounts of more than 60 cm (more than 2 feet) in the Japanese Alps.

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The greatest threat for flooding will occur from near and south of Osaka northeastward along the southern coast of Honshu.

The main impacts from the storm will shift into northeast Honshu by Sunday then lift into Hokkaido Sunday night and Monday.

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