People walk through wind and snow on Monday morning in Shibetsu, Hokkaido.
© The Yomiuri ShimbunPeople walk through wind and snow on Monday morning in Shibetsu, Hokkaido.
A strong cold snap has brought record snowfalls to Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan and the southern Tohoku region. Japan's Meteorological Agency warns that more snow is coming and advises people to be on high alert for traffic disruptions and other problems.

Weather officials said that as of 5 p.m. on Monday, the snow was about 2.2 meters deep in Ohkura Village, Yamagata Prefecture, and more than 1.8 meters deep in Niigata's Uonuma City.

Tadami Town in Fukushima Prefecture had a record 1.1 meters of snow during the 24 hours through Monday morning. The town's snow accumulation reached nearly 1.6 meters as of 5 p.m. on the day.

Nagaoka City in Niigata also had a record 24-hour-snowfall of 89 centimeters. Niigata City on the Sea of Japan recorded 43 centimeters during 24 hours. Both are monthly records for December.

Weather officials predict that the snow will continue through Tuesday, mainly on the Japan Sea coast side of northern to western Japan.

They say that in Niigata Prefecture and the neighboring Hokuriku region, even flatland areas may see heavy snow due to large bands of thunderclouds developing over the Sea of Japan.

The Meteorological Agency says that in the 24-hour period through Tuesday afternoon, up to 50 centimeters of snow is forecast in Niigata and Tohoku, and 35 centimeters in Hokuriku.

The agency is calling on people to be alert for traffic disruptions due to accumulated snow and icy roads, and to be watchful for power failures and avalanches.