Japan on Tuesday was bracing for a severe winter storm that could bring heavy snowfall and strong winds across the country amid a once-in-a-decade cold snap.

Low-lying areas including central Tokyo — which rarely sees snowfall — could also face impacts as a strong winter pressure pattern develops over Japan, leading to unstable atmospheric conditions through Thursday. Officials urged those in affected areas to avoid unnecessary outings.

The Meteorological Agency has said temperatures are expected to drop significantly to levels seen only once in 10 years, with authorities warning of the threat of frozen water pipes and power outages.