Photo/Illutration A mailbox in Fukui, Fukui Prefecture, in February 2018 is nearly buried in heavy snow. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Japan can expect a freezing cold winter with lots of snow due to an apparent La Nina weather phenomenon likely to last until the season's end, the Japan Meteorological Agency announced on Nov. 10.

La Nina causes abnormal weather worldwide and occurs when a lower-than-average surface sea temperature is observed for a prolonged time in an area stretching from the Peruvian coast to the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean.

With La Nina, the winter-type pressure pattern--high to the west and low to the east--becomes more intense in Japan, and tends to bring temperatures down due to cold air flowing in.

One recently hit Japan from summer 2020 through the spring of 2021, resulting in temperatures tending to be lower than average across the country in the first half of last winter.