Heavy snow disrupts transportation in Tokyo, warning issued
A heavy snow warning was issued for central Tokyo on Friday by the weather agency here, with the inclement weather disrupting transportation services.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued the alert for Tokyo's 23 wards, warning that later in the day the snow could turn to sleet and then rain, making evening rush hour driving conditions potentially hazardous if the roads become icy.
As a result of the snow, Japanese Airlines canceled a total of 57 flights to and from Haneda Airport in Tokyo scheduled for Friday, while All Nippon Airways also canceled a number of its domestic flights.
East Japan Railway, meanwhile, said it will suspend all operations of the Yamagata Shinkansen bullet train line as of Friday evening.
Other railway services in eastern Japan may also see services delayed or suspended, reports said.
The weather agency said a cold air front and low atmospheric pressure combined caused the snowfall from Friday morning in the Kanto-Koshin region in eastern and central Japan, with Tokyo's 23 wards also affected.
The snow warning could be expanded to a wider part of the eastern side of the country if the unstable pressure system continues for longer than expected or temperatures on the ground fall further causing the snow to gather.
Through 6 am local time on Saturday, central Tokyo could see 5 centimeters of snow, whereas the surrounding, more mountainous areas, could see as much as 40 cm, weather officials said.