There has been heavy snowfall up to 3.13 metres deep along the west coast of Japan in recent days which has led to the deaths of eight people and 277 casualties in that region. The culprit once again looks to have been extremely cold northwesterlies streaming of Russia across the relatively warm waters of the Sea of Japan. They must have set in behind an extratropical low that had moved northeastward across Japan on Thursday (7 January). The resulting instability in the cold wave that followed produced many hours of ocean effect snow which dropped vast quantities of snow along coastal regions. The Japanese are SYNOP friendly and have a great AWS network, some of which must also be equipped with automatic snow depth sensors of some kind. None of the 12 UTC SYNOP snow depths are that remarkable apart from the 1.19 metres at Aomori which is not in the worst affected Hokuriku region. I noticed that the northwesterly airstream that brought all the snow in the last couple of days has died a death.