Astronaut Soichi Noguchi, currently working aboard the International Space Station, posted a photo of a low atmospheric pressure system that rapidly developed above Hokkaido on his Twitter account, @Astro_Soichi, on Tuesday.

The photo, which he took from the ISS, shows thick masses of clouds swirling and covering Hokkaido.

The photo was accompanied by a message from Noguchi, 55, who expressed surprise at the sight, writing in Japanese: “Hokkaido today. Hey, seriously!”

The low-pressure system that day caused a snow storm in Hokkaido, where record strong gale-force winds were observed in some areas.

According to the Meteorological Agency, the pressure fell as low as 946 hectopascals at one point. Apparently, it is quite rare in Japan for a low-pressure system other than a typhoon to go below 950 hectopascals.


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