Heavy snow blanketing Japan
Heavy snow continues to fall in northern and western Japan along the Sea of Japan coast.

The Meteorological Agency says the winter-type weather pattern has strengthened, bringing with it a cold air mass.

A village in northern Yamagata prefecture had experienced nearly two meters of snow by Saturday.

The snow is expected to continue through Sunday, mainly in coastal areas.

A man shovels snow in the city of Yokote,
© Mainichi/Shin Sato
A man shovels snow in the city of Yokote, Akita Prefecture, northern Japan, on Dec. 27, 2018.
Up to 70 centimeters are forecast in the 24 hours through Sunday morning in Niigata Prefecture and the Kanto Koshin region. Up to 50 centimeters are expected in Hokkaido, Tohoku and Hokuriku.

Blizzards are forecast in northern Japan. The Hokuriku region may get gusts of up to 126 kilometers an hour through Sunday.

Officials are advising people to be on the alert for avalanches and falling snow that has accumulated on power cables and trees.