Japan's weather officials warn of extreme cold and snowfall

Weather officials are warning of an extremely strong cold air flow bringing heavy snowfall from Tuesday through Thursday in many parts of northern and western Japan.

The Meteorological Agency forecasts sunshine for most parts of Japan on Sunday morning, except for rain and snow in areas along the Sea of Japan coast from Hokkaido to Hokuriku.

But it says a low pressure system and a front are expected to bring rain or snow gradually from the west from around noon on Sunday through Monday.

Agency officials say a winter pressure pattern is expected to strengthen from Tuesday through Thursday, bringing this season's coldest air mass so far over Japan.

Northern to western Japan, especially areas along the Sea of Japan coast, will have heavy snow and rough weather.

Many areas along the Pacific coast, including Kyushu, Shikoku and Tokai, may also have blizzards with alert-level snowfall.

Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing in many parts of eastern and western Japan. Heavy snow and icy roads may affect traffic in many areas.

Weather officials are also warning of the possibility that water pipes may freeze.

Rough seas are expected in northern to western Japan along the Sea of Japan and Okinawa Prefecture.

Officials are calling on people to keep updated with the latest weather information and prepare for snow and low temperatures.