Snow continuing to pile up in Hokuriku, Niigata

Weather officials are warning of more snow in Hokuriku and other areas along the Sea of Japan.

The Meteorological Agency says a strong winter pressure pattern and a mass of very cold air have dumped large amounts of snow, mainly in the Hokuriku region and Niigata Prefecture.

It says the pressure pattern is likely to persist through Sunday. Snowfall is expected to intensify in the morning in Hokuriku and areas to the north and west along the Sea of Japan.

The depth of snow has already reached two to nine times the level for the average year in some coastal areas from the Tohoku to Chugoku regions.

Weather officials are urging people to be on the alert for possible disruptions of traffic due to snow accumulation and icy roads. They also warn that avalanches and snow on power lines could trigger blackouts.