Record snowfalls in western Japan

NHK -- Dec 27
A strong cold air mass brought record snows to wide areas in western and northern Japan on Monday.

As of 6 p.m., Hikone City in Shiga Prefecture saw 62 centimeters of snow. That is more than 30 times the amount of snow for a normal year. Snow accumulation has more than doubled in many other places compared to the average for this time of year.

In the 24 hours through Tuesday morning, the Japan Meteorological Agency says up to 70 centimeters of snow is expected in Niigata Prefecture, and 60 centimeters in the northern Kanto region as well as the Tohoku and Hokuriku regions.

People in those regions are advised to stay on the alert.