Weather officials warn that a heavy snowstorm could disrupt transport systems in Hokkaido and other parts of northern Japan from Thursday to Saturday.
The officials say a developing low-pressure system and a cold air mass will likely bring blizzards to Hokkaido, mainly on the Sea of Japan side.
They say the low-pressure system, accompanied by a front, is moving north of Hokkaido. Winds are intensifying on the Sea of Japan coast of northern Japan.
Winds are expected to reach a maximum velocity of 90 kilometers per hour in Hokkaido, 82 kilometers per hour in Tohoku and 72 kilometers per hour in Hokuriku.
The officials say maximum gust speeds could hit 108 to 126 kilometers per hour.
High waves of up to 7 meters are forecast for Hokkaido and 6 meters for Tohoku and Hokuriku.
The officials also say that in the 24 hours through Friday morning, up to 40 centimeters of snowfall is expected in Hokkaido, and up to 20 centimeters in Tohoku.
They say an additional 50 to 70 centimeters of snow may fall in Hokkaido in the 24 hours through Saturday morning.