Barely two weeks after a prolific ocean-effect snowstorm dropped seven feet of snow and stranded thousands of motorists, the new year in Japan kicked off with another severe snowstorm. Up to another 85 inches fell through Saturday amid strong winds and record cold temperatures.

Photos emerged on social media of a landscape plastered in white as heavy snow covered the mountains of Japan. One shot captured a roughly five-foot block of snow balanced precariously on a phone booth, while another showed what appeared as a white blanket presumably cloaking trees, structures and vehicles.

The mind-boggling snowfall is linked to a pair of record-breaking weather systems that induced a prolonged period of westerly to northwesterly winds, the ideal wind fetch needed to yield the factory-like production and dumping of heavy snow.

Mountainous areas of Japan are bracing for yet another dump of heavy snow over the next five days.

The second extreme snowfall in two weeks’ time

Japanese news agency NHK reported that Okura Village in Yamagata Prefecture, a mountain community a little more than 200 miles north of Tokyo, had received 85 inches of snow by late Friday. The seven feet of snow matched what came down the week of Dec. 18 just to the south in the community of Fujiwara.

That snowstorm stranded more than a thousand motorists on the Kan-Etsu Expressway for more than 24 hours, with drivers forced to melt snow for drinking water during the overnight debacle.

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