On Tuesday, February 5, a winter storm hit the northern island of Hokkaido. Snowfall up to 35cm (18 in), notably in the town of Horokanai, as well as strong blizzard, wind gusts of up to 125 km/h (77 mph), and high waves were reported, leading to significant disruptions to tranportation services and daily life activities. Rail services were also affected, with over one hundred trains cancelled. Hazardous driving conditions due to the presence of snow and ice on roads have also led to a series of road accidents. Further disruptions are likely in the coming hours and days.
Individuals in Hokkaido are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions (e.g. flight delays and cancelations, icy roads, limited visibility), confirm flight reservations, refrain from unnecessary travel, and keep sufficient food, water, and warm clothing if driving.