A weak disturbance crossing from Mongolia into northeastern China will contribute to an area of low pressure rapidly strengthening near Japan from Monday into Wednesday. Drenching rain, strong wind and blinding snow are all expected across Japan as this storm takes shape.
Although low pressure will first start to develop across the East China Sea on Monday, Japan will feel few effects as high pressure remains entrenched across the country. This, however, will rapidly change as rain and wind spread across Japan on Tuesday.
Across the islands of Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu, most of this storm will bring rain and a gusty wind. Residents from Osaka to Tokyo should be prepared for subsequent travel disruptions due to the rain and gusty wind. In some coastal communities, wind gusts in excess of 80 kph (50 mph) are expected.
Not only will this storm system bring rain to central and southern Japan, blinding snow will fall across the northern island of Hokkaido.
As this area of low pressure continues to rapidly strengthen into Wednesday, blizzard conditions will develop across parts of Hokkaido as heavy snow combines with frequent wind gusts in excess of 65 kph (40 mph). Blizzard conditions will make travel extremely dangerous or impossible in parts of the island.
The Kuril Islands to the north of Hokkaido will see wind gusts eclipse typhoon strength and could approach 130-160 kph (80-100 mph) Tuesday night into Wednesday.
Hokkaido will not be the only location to get heavy snow on Wednesday. As cold air rushes across the Sea of Japan, heavy snow showers will occur in western Honshu. Some of these same areas got over a meter (3 feet) of snow over the weekend and another meter (3 feet) of snow may fall during the middle of the week.
As this storm slowly pulls away from Japan on Thursday, much of the country will still have blustery conditions. Tricky travel will continue as snow showers remain across Hokkaido and western Honshu.